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GRAND MET MAKES AMERICAN INDIAN OIC PARTNER IN COMMUNITY JOB TRAINING CENTER; LANDMARK AGREEMENT LINKS STRONG TRAINING ORGANIZATIONS;

 MINNEAPOLIS, June 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Grand Metropolitan announced today that American Indian OIC (Opportunities Industrialization Center), the Minneapolis-based job training agency, will assume complete responsibility for management of the GrandMet Community Job Training Center, as part of a new agreement. The change is effective immediately.
 GrandMet will continue to support the efforts of the Community Job Training Center through investment of $1 million yearly until completion of the 1994 fiscal year. Additionally, the company will continue to support the center in subsequent years as it develops new sources of funding.
 William Means, AIOIC executive director, termed the transaction "one of the most significant developments in the 14-year history of our agency and an equally important event for Native Americans throughout Minnesota.
 "The decision of GrandMet to reach into the community and give us complete responsibility for running the organization is unprecedented in our experience," he said. "It's an expression of confidence in the expertise and commitment of Indian people. It will make possible an even more effective effort on our part to train people for meaningful jobs in a tough economic environment."
 Means emphasized that the GrandMet Community Job Training Center, like AIOIC, will be open to people of all races and ethnic backgrounds. Efforts will be intensified to broaden the reach of the center and to engage more support from both public and private sectors.
 "The only qualification to take advantage of this opportunity is a desire to join the workforce," he said. "American Indian OIC has a record of serving all communities, and we'll continue that approach."
 As a partner, GrandMet will help finance ongoing operations, share training expertise, and assist in strengthening links with the business community. The company will be loaning an executive to the center, and the present staff will continue in their same or expanded roles. A GrandMet executive will also join the AIOIC board of directors.
 AIOIC will provide well-recognized training programs that both partners believe will enhance the center's appeal and effectiveness. That includes maintenance of management and staff, plus retention of a consultant who will assist in identifying and reaching objectives.
 Dr. Leon Sullivan, the founder of the OIC movement in the United States, said "this action is an example for other corporations seeking to move training efforts to the grass-roots level." Sullivan is visiting Minneapolis to speak with area OIC's and to participate in ceremonies marking the shift of management authority at the Community Job Training Center from GrandMet to American Indian OIC.
 Started in November 1991, the Grand Metropolitan Community Job Training Center, located at 31 Century Plaza, 1111 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, assesses people's skills, interests, and abilities, and develops individual plans of action to provide training for available jobs. Counseling and support continue through the first year of employment.
 GrandMet has invested significantly in the start-up and staffing of the center. The commitment announced by GrandMet in 1992 called for $1 million a year in funding for three years. The company will honor that pledge and contribute support funds in the period following fiscal 1994 (Sept. 30, 1994).
 The Job Training Center does not charge fees for its services, and draws clients from Twin Cities area schools, community and government agencies. Transportation assistance is provided all participants. Since its inception, the training center has served over 600 clients, about 35 percent of whom have been helped to gain employment.
 The selection of American Indian OIC comes after a thorough search within the community for the right nonprofit with which to partner, said Raymond R. Krause, chairman of CJTC and senior vice president of Government and Community Affairs for GrandMet Inc. "The directors of both the center and American Indian OIC are enthusiastic about what the future holds for enhancing training in this community," Krause said. "GrandMet is very pleased to have established an important initiative, and gratified to have found an exemplary agency, one which will accelerate the work of the center and make it a formidable training institution. American Indian OIC also feels that our partnership with the private sector is critical."
 American Indian OIC in 1991 purchased and remodeled a facility to house all its programs. The 28,000 sq. ft. building is located at the intersection of Cedar and Franklin Avenues. AIOIC operates with a $1.8 million budget, and has served more than 7,500 clients since its founding in 1979.
 The agency received start-up support from three area corporations -- Honeywell, General Mills, and Pillsbury.
 GrandMet is one of the largest international companies in the United Kingdom and a world-leader in drinks, retailing, and food. GrandMet sales are in excess of $15 billion. US subsidiaries of GrandMet include Pillsbury, Burger King, Carillon Importers, Hagen-Dazs, Heublein, the Paddington Corporation, and Pearle Inc.
 -0- 6/4/93
 /CONTACT: Terry Thompson of Pillsbury, 612-330-4768; Nancy Driessen of Mona Meyer McGrath & Gavin, 612-832-5000, for Pillsbury; Bill Means of AIOIC, 612-341-3358/


CO: Grand Metropolitan; Pillsbury; American Indian Opportunities
 Industrialization Center ST: Minnesota IN: FOD SU:


AL -- MN002 -- 5323 06/04/93 09:03 EDT
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Date:Jun 4, 1993
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