In the News
Learn more about the exciting developments at Summit Academy OIC in our recent press coverage.

For media inquiries or photos, please contact:
Calli Olson, 612-278-7350,

June 15, 2011
Summit Academy OIC host Expo: Educating women in training and construction opportunities
Summit Academy OIC, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit educational and vocational center, is hosting a Women in Construction Super Expo on Tuesday, June 21 to educate women about training and construction opportunities that currently exist in the field.
(Read Full Story)
June 7, 2011
Northside Community Response Team: A marathon, not a sprint
The Northside Community Response Team (NCRT), a coalition of nearly 60 organizations who have come together to help tornado victims of North Minneapolis, held a press conference on Monday, giving an update of the progress the coalition has made so far, and what lies ahead.
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June 6, 2011
Tornado relief shifts to new gear
The biggest branches and trees have been hauled away from the tornado-ravaged yards in north Minneapolis.
(Read Full Story)
June 5, 2011
Storm brings out North Side strengths
After the tornado, the community is proceeding with resilience and a vision of what it can become.
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May 31, 2011
Businesses, agencies collaborate to serve and support North Minneapolis response and recovery
The rain was still falling. But the sun was about to overtake the remnants of clouds...Louis King, president of Summit Academy OIC called.
May 27, 2011
Volunteers swarm to help
With chainsaws and rakes, volunteers show up by the hundreds.

May 26, 2011
Volunteers help assess needs of storm victims
Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across the north side of Minneapolis Wednesday to help clear debris still left by Sunday afternoon's tornado, and talk to residents to see what kind of help they need to recover from the storm's devastating impact.
(Read Full Story)
May 12, 2011
Communities mobilize to preserve human rights funding
If the republican-controlled state legislature has its way, the Minn. Dept. of Human Rights (MDHR) could have its budget slashed by as much as 65 percent.

(Read Full Story)
April 22, 2011
Summit Academy OIC expands partnerships with unions
Partnerships ensure minorities have access to opportunities within the high skill
(Read Full Story)
Aril 13, 2011
Applause for Dayton, but task for us all
Gov. Mark Dayton's recent visit to the North Side of Minneapolis and his timely response to the issues raised there provide promise that he will be a man of his word in mitigating our state's massive racial disparities in economic well-being.
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March 23, 2011
Green jobs? Say what?
We have been bombarded with the word "green" for a number of years and told this is where things are going.
(Read Full Story)
March 30, 2011
Govenor holds a 'long overdue' talk with blacks
They urged Dayton to help close the jobs gap between blacks, whites.

(Read Full Story)
March 16, 2011
Women hardhats: Construction's not just for guys anymore
Michelle Miller once drove large vehicles in Iraq for two years. Now the Minneapolis resident looks forward to handling similar large construction equipment here in the Twin Cities soon.
(Read Full Story)
March 6, 2011
Summit Academy Helps People Live Better
For the last few years, finding work has been a challenge for many Minnesotans. A program in the Twin Cities is proving it's possible.

(Read Full Story)
February 21, 2011
Summit Academy OIC Women In Construction Expo
Learn more about the SAOIC Women in Construction Expo. Women wear hard hats too. Information Sessions beginning February 22, 2011.

Watch Video
February 4, 2011
MnDOT preps new plan to hire more women, minority contractors
The Minnesota Department of Transportation could soon increase the number of women and minorities working on Minnesota road and bridge projects.

January 31, 2011
Planting the seeds of success for 5 years
Five years ago, Joe Selvaggio launched a nonprofit that transformed donations from wealthy Minnesotans into $1,000 cash grants for low-income folks trying to get ahead.
January 28, 2011
Minneapolis/Event for women in construction set
Construction may be a male-dominated industry, but contractors on public projects are required to make a good-faith effort to hire a certain percentage of women.

November 17, 2010
Preparing for hard, precise work at a living wage
"Career opportunities with Central Corridor Light Rail Transit Project"
November 11, 2010
Central Corridor to create 800 jobs
Each day the Central Corridor Light Rail gets thousands of people to work and soon it could help 800 unemployed Minnesotans find work.
November 10, 2010
Open houses showcase jobs to be had with Central Corridor light-rail project
The recession that hammered hiring in most fields has amounted to a depression in the construction industry, leaving countless laborers desperate for a chance to get back to work. For at least 800 folks, that chance may just be around the corner.
November 2, 2010
Project using community workers confronts health inequities
You'll likely remember the report issued earlier this month documenting the health chasm between whites and non-whites, between the economically comfortable and the poor in the Twin Cities area.
November 1, 2010
Green roofs, adaptability boost Stock Roofing
New services and growing demand for environmentally friendly roofs have helped the company get through the recession.
October 29, 2010
Jobs group wants more minorities, women building Central Corridor line
Major work on the Central Corridor light-rail transit line has yet to begin, but a coalition of community groups on Friday sounded an alarm over what they deem to be large shortfalls in the numbers of female and minority construction workers is involved in the preliminary stages.
October, 2010
Constructing the Future
Meet Dean, who received job training through Summit Academy OIC, a United Way partner agency.
September, 2010
Billions have been infused into the state to create jobs, but why haven't you seen any Hmong workers?
Take a drive down any major road in Minnesota and you will most likely run into the bright orange tape, big machines and long traffic lines...
September 20, 2010
Summit Academy OIC hosts Community Health Fair Open House for low income community residents.
Students from Summit Academy OIC, located at 935 Olson Memorial Highway, in Minenapolis are hosting a Community Health Fair Friday, October 15, 1-3 p.m.
August 25, 2010
Diversity hiring a goal for MnDOT
Agency set standards, using federal funds to boost minority workforce.
Training programs skewed more toward minority recruitment as part of the collaborative have already sent at least eight students of color from unemployment to state construction sites as heavy equipment operators. (PDF)
August, 2010
Problem Solved: Louis King and Summit Academy OIC are creating jobs by equipping those who need them most.
Like all great leaders, Louis King is a problem solver. When he took note of many minorities lacking jobs, education, as well as a sense of purpose and pride, he set out to find a solution. (PDF)
July 20, 2010
First class of heavy equipment operators graduates through new union-community partnership
Williams is benefitting from a joint venture between the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, a union of 13,000 workers in Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Summit Academy OIC, a nonprofit educational and vocational training center working with adults in the most economically depressed neighborhoods of the Twin Cities. (PDF)
July 9, 2010
Summit Academy graduates ready for Highway Heavy jobs
"This type of program was long overdue; traditionally men and women raised on the family farm joined Local 49 for a more secure future with better health care and pension benefits. As our state's landscape has changed, we have had to find new ways to recruit new workers interested in a career in our industry..." (PDF)
July 9, 2010
Union, school collaborate to get residents from depressed neighborhoods into good jobs
Nineteen students, including three women, graduate today from a 20-week curriculum that pairs on-the-job training from the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49 and classroom instruction from Summit Academy OIC... (PDF)
July 7, 2010
Local 49 prepares minorities, women to operate backhoes, other construction equipment
What's unusual about the new program is that it's operated jointly by a union (the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49) and an inner-city vocational training center (Summit Academy OIC). Local 49 officials call it a "groundbreaking" initiative that came about after two years of planning and negotiating. (PDF)
June 28, 2010
Man Recalls Life In A Minneapolis Gang
"I want to be a part of the change. I feel I'm obligated to be a part of the change," he said. "I've been a part of the destruction for so long. Now it's time for me to be a part of the change." (PDF)
June 20, 2010
King and Brown: To end racial disparity, take the first step
Let's bring money, time and influence to bear on this Twin Cities problem.
A recent national study showing that blacks in our area are three times more likely to be unemployed than whites has resulted in a spike of attention to the issue. We must now fan this spark to bring about the flames of change. Talk alone will not do it. (PDF)
June 16, 2010
Clements: Jobs training, the way out of poverty
"If you are going to put people to work, you need the education, you need access, you need the environment, the social network," King says. "That's what we do. We're working to build that social network". (PDF)
May 24, 2010
Minnesota #2 in nation in racial gap in jobless rate
The phenomenon of racial disparities in unemployment is nothing new, but it's clear the recession has made it worse. Louis King argues that although some might think that the state's relatively small number of minorities would make fixing racial disparities easier, the reality is often exactly opposite." (PDF)
March 29, 2010
Black Employment in Crisis
"One in five African American men, aged 20 years and older, is unemployed, and black teens are jobless at an even higher rate." Louis King was a guest on Kerri Miller's show discussing this issue.

March 25, 2010
Louis King: Widening the workforce for a building boom
"Building projects such as the light rail in St. Paul and the Union Depot have the potential to benefit communities of color if we develop a workforce that includes these individuals and helps us leverage the more than $2.4 billion that will be spent on local infrastructure projects in the next few years." (PDF)
March 15, 2010
Fox 9 Community Connection Green Special
Louis King sat down with Robyne Robinson for Fox 9's Community Connections Green Special that aired Saturday. Summit's segment discussed its weatherization and green roofing training, as well as its on-site Green House.
March 2, 2010
Exec's laser focus helps minority training, hiring
Louis King, the veteran job-training executive, is starting to see results from his three-year, demonstration-to-boardroom campaign to raise the percentage of minority laborers on government-financed road, stadium and other public works projects. (PDF)
February 26, 2010
Twins' Target Field a home run for local contractors
After more than a decade of lobbying and about two and a half years of construction, the Minnesota Twins finally have left the Metrodome for the greener pastures of Target Field. Workers included 35 people who were referred through Summit Academy OIC. (PDF)
January 15, 2010
Job-trainer Summit Academy expanding to east metro
"Summit Academy OIC, a nonprofit that offers job training and other educational services in poor neighborhoods, is expanding into St. Paul with plans to open its first location there this fall." (PDF)
December 11, 2009
Mpls. projects to get $5.2M in federal funds
"The House of Representatives on Thursday approved a spending bill that, if passed by the senate and signed by President Obama, will provide about $5.2 million for a handful of projects in Minnesota's fifth congressional district, which includes part of Minneapolis.

The funds include $400,000 for Summit's Green Jobs Initiative located in the Harrison neighborhood of Minneapolis." (PDF)
November 17, 2009
Target Field project opens doors for young worker
(originally published in Finance and Commerce)
"When Jamillah Karon enrolled in Summit Academy OIC in the spring of 2007, she wasn't certain exactly what the future had in store for her. Less than a year later, after a stint in residential construction, Karon found herself working on the future home of the Minnesota Twins. She's employed by Minneapolis-based Tri Construction, a minority-owned contractor working on the project."
November 5, 2009
Summit Academy taking workers from minimum to livable wages
"Summit has incorporated weatherization training into all of our carpentry pre-apprentice certification training. Training in green collar building techniques makes these students more valuable to local construction companies." (PDF)
Green Construction - Fox
October 29, 2009
Green Construction Education in Minneapolis
"Summit Academy OIC is offering "green education" for students wanting to learn about this growing trend... Students learn all aspects of building a home, but in the last 4 months, they learned how to build a green house." (PDF)
September/October 2009
All Worked Up
"King saw opportunity, especially for those, like Turner, struggling to get a footing in the job market. Many green jobs are entry-level--installing solar panels, repairing bicycles, or working in the burgeoning recycling industry." (PDF)
Examiner Target Green Roof
September 16, 2009
Minneapolis Target Center becomes first U.S. arena with green roof
"Minneapolis city leaders yesterday celebrated the greening of the Target Center roof at a celebration on top of the arena. Twenty of the workers were graduates of training programs at Summit Academy OIC." (PDF)
WCCO Green Article
August 26, 2009
The Green Economy: Saving Energy And Making Money
"The students at Summit Academy in Minneapolis are getting hands-on training in green construction. They're building a model home to study weatherization that will save energy on heating and cooling."
August 7, 2009
Minority hiring report shows little progress on MnDOT projects

"The construction industry itself needs to do more to level its unequal playing field, said Alex Tittle, education director for Summit Academy OIC.."(PDF)
July 5, 2009
Questions remain over wisdom of Shubert move
"Up to one-third of the workers on the Shubert project will be women, minority apprentices and skilled minority craftsmen. The jobs will pay $18.50 to $40 an hour for months. That's a good thing." (PDF)
June 26, 2009
Louis King: Minority Business Executive

"As president and CEO of Summit Academy
OIC, King has helped provide job training to thousands of Twin
Cities men and guided them to good-paying jobs and productive
May 13, 2009
Officials wrestle with tracking minority hiring for stimulus projects

Critics say federal projects are behind on minority hires, but one official said there probably won't be enough female and minority contractors to go around. (PDF)
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