Philadelphia OIC names new CEO, plans to expand training opportunities

Renee Cardwell Hughes has been named the new CEO of OIC Philadelphia.
Photo credit Wesley Brown/Courtesy of OIC Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia OIC has a new CEO. Renee Cardwell Hughes will lead the decades-old nonprofit with a storied past, and she has big plans.

"I am incredibly excited," expressed Hughes, who has spent years in leadership roles. Most recently, she ran the Hughes Group, a crisis management firm. 

Prior to that, she led the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania and sat on the bench of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas for 15 years. 

Now she'll take the reins of the Philadelphia Opportunities Industrialization Center, or OIC, a nonprofit founded by the late Reverend Leon Sullivan to provide job training to help people of color to lift themselves out of poverty.

"Here at OIC, it's the same thing," Hughes said. "How do we give our community the skills they need to have a first quality life for their family?"

Hughes said OIC has been very successful with its culinary arts and hospitality training program. But she will work to expand job training opportunities in new areas that many don't connect with the program.

"This is a place in which you can learn drone technology," she revealed. "It is the wave of the future, real jobs that use drones in construction and real estate, in the entertainment industry, in law enforcement."

In a statement, OIC Board Chairman Atif Bostic said they are lucky to have Hughes, as she has "dedicated much of her life to serving communities, and understands the plight of the people we serve implicitly."