"I want to thank the board of directors, our dedicated staff, funding sources and partners, and the citizens of Wilson along with all of North Carolina for embracing the OIC of Wilson mission."

Howard Jones



"Immense, Lasting Impact"

Chamber honors OIC's Howard Jones

By Rochelle Moore Times Staff Writer

A community man dedicated to helping the less fortunate was honored Thursday with the Wilson Chamber of Commerce 2016 Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award.

Howard Jones, founder and executive director of the Wilson Opportunities Industrialization Center, not only received the chamber’s highest honor but was also recognized for his work by U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-Wilson, N.C. Rep. Susan Martin, R-Wilson, and Gov. Pat McCrory.

Jones, who founded OIC in 1972, continues to show passion for helping the hungry through OIC’s quarterly food distribution program that serves 20,000 people each year and its pre-vocational program that helps residents find stable employment.

The OIC of Wilson, Inc.

OIC of Wilson, Inc. is a non-profit community- based organization that has been meeting the needs of the economically disadvantaged individuals throughout the community

The Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC), a vocational, educational, and life skills training program designed to prepare young men and women for full-time employment. Moving beyond protest to address the barriers of poverty and oppression, the OIC quickly expanded into all corners of the city and ultimately grew into a national and international movement that trained millions of workers from all racial and ethnic backgrounds.

OIC of Wilson annually provides more than 25,000 service contacts through more than 24 programs in the areas of employment readiness and referral, basic skills training and enhancement and health & nutritional services.

Howard Jones founded the OIC of Wilson in 1972, working to provide tens of thousands of Eastern Carolina residents with food, health care screenings and jobs.