FORT LAUDERDALE — Jane Oates, assistant labor secretary for Employment and Training in the Obama administration, will give the commencement address at the graduation ceremony for students of the Opportunities Industrialization Center (OIC).

The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts’ Amaturo Theater, 201 S.W. Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale.

Oates was nominated by President Barack Obama to join Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis’ leadership team at the Department of Labor in April 2009. Confirmed as assistant secretary for Employment and Training on June 19, 2009, she leads the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) in its mission to design and deliver high-quality training and employment programs for our nation’s workers.

The OIC is a job skills training and placement center located at 3407 N.W. Ninth Ave.,  Suite 100, Oakland Park. It has served Broward County for more than 10 years.

Graduates are a diverse group that includes skilled-employed looking for certification and those who previously had barriers to employment, such as the unemployed and underemployed, as well as former offenders looking for a second chance and also at-risk youth.

 “These graduates have successfully transcended the obstacles associated with assuming rewarding roles in our society and are working towards self-sufficiency and economic empowerment,” the OIC’s president/CEO Newton Sanon said in a statement.

 “It is with great pleasure that we salute those who have realized the first steps toward this aspiration,” Sanon said.   

He expressed the center’s gratitude to business leaders who have been helping in the effort to develop and assist residents looking to lead productive lives.

The organization is part of a national network of centers created more that 40 years ago with the aim of offering “a hand up and not a hand out”  to all who are in need of and desire to become productive members of the community.  

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Assistant labor secretary: Jane Oates