Established in 1972, the Greater Paterson Opportunities Industrialization Center (GPOIC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specializing in workforce and personal development. Primarily serving residents of Passaic County, New Jersey, GPOIC is dedicated to helping the unemployed and underemployed develop and/or upgrade their life, technological, and employment skills.
GPOIC is an affiliate of OIC of America (OICA) which was established in a renovated jailhouse in 1964 by the renowned Reverend Dr. Leon H. Sullivan. Today, including GPOIC, there are 34 OIC affiliates across the United States serving over 80,000 individuals annually.
Our mission at the GPOIC is to provide personal and professional skills training services that empower the unemployed, underemployed, and underserved to achieve success and improve the quality of their lives.
GPOIC shares the vision of OICA and its affiliates. We envision a world in which all people are contributing members of their families and communities. Through our efforts and theirs, our participants break the cycle of poverty, creating a more just society.
Harvey J. Nutter, the Executive Director of the Greater Paterson OIC since 1978. Harvey also sits as Chairman of the Board at Passaic County Community College (PCCC) and is an active member of Calvary Baptist Church also in Paterson. The Greater Paterson OIC is one of the oldest community-based organizations in the Silk City and Harvey is at the helm.
Ever the eternal optimist, Harvey Nutter said, ” I obviously have faith in this program, in my staff and in most of the students who come here initially unaware that we even exist.” Often, those students are trying to get off public assistance. Others may have had run-ins with the law, and then there are those who are simply are tired of the same old, same old and want to start anew.
Many former OIC students now work in the city’s municipal government while other have gone on to higher education obtaining Master’s degrees and beyond.
In June, GPOIC sponsors its annual Breakfast of Champions event where area residents as well as outstanding students from GPOIC are feted. For the sake of public disclosure, this writer was both a counselor and instructor there many years ago and can readily attest to the number of success stories that can be recalled.
At one time GPOIC offered GEDs for anyone who had not obtained a high school diploma; today, the organization, as a whole, concentrates its efforts on high-tech skills in order to prepare students for job-readiness in this formidable marketplace. Harvey Nutter has received numerous community awards regarding the success rate of the program and also garnered much admiration from countless people. He could have left GPOIC itself and gone to make more money in the corporate arena, but instead stayed the course because, in his words, “If we don’t teach our own, who’s gonna’ do it?” Who, indeed?
OIC of Greater Paterson is a non-profit community- based organization that has been meeting the needs of the economically disadvantaged individuals throughout the community.