Written by: John DeRousie, Custom Marketing Solutions
FULTON, NY – Sarah Irland, deputy executive director of Oswego County Opportunities, has announced that Eric Bresee has recently received accreditation as a Certified Community Action Professional from the Community Action Partnership. A non-profit national membership organization representing the interests of 1,100 Community Action Agencies across the country, Community Action Partnership launched the Certified Community Action Professional program in 1992. It is a peer recognition certification for managerial level employees in the field of community action that acknowledges experience, recognizes, excellence, and validates achievement.
To achieve accreditation as a Certified Community Action Professional Breseeunderwent a two-year process that included documentation of professional achievements and extensive studying in preparation for the certification exam. He credited the process for helping him develop a better understanding of community action and how it benefits communities.
“The process gave me a much clearer picture of what OCO is doing as a Community Action Agency. Since I joined OCO in 2001, the agency has grown exponentially. Diane Cooper-Courier, our executive director, is a visionary leader. She is leading the way as OCO redesigns its service delivery and implements a universal database with consistent policies across the board. She has positioned OCO so that it will continue to grow, increase our understandability to those we serve, and help us better meet their needs,” said Bresee.
Irland praised Bresee for his achievement. “Becoming a Certified Community Action Professional requires commitment, study and experience to meet the standards of community action. We are very proud of Eric and acknowledge him for this accomplishment and for his commitment to quality services within OCO,” she said.
Bresee, who holds a Bachelors Degree in psychology and a Masters Degree in human services / counseling from SUNY Oswego, joined the staff of Oswego County Opportunities in 2001 as a substitute resident counselor in the agency’s MRDD services. After several years in the MRDD and Transitional Living services, Bresee was named Youth Enterprise Coordinator for OCO’s Youth Services. A job skills program, OCO’s Youth Enterprise helped prepare at risk youth for community employment. Under Bresee’s guidance, the program introduced two new services, the Fulton School Mentoring program and ACT for Youth.
Bresee’s career at OCO continued on a fast track as he was named Development Services Coordinator in 2006, Youth Services Director in 2008, Youth and Family Services Director in 2009, and in 2011 he received OCO’s prestigious Amelia Whelahan Leadership Award, which recognized his outstanding contributions to OCO and the Human Services profession, and was named Director of Crisis and Development Services.
As Director of Crisis and Development Services, he is responsible for the oversight of 14 different programs, including domestic violence and rape crisis, crime victims, foster care, job skill readiness training, pregnant and parenting teens, health education, outreach and youth emergency services for hungry and homeless youth. With his passion for helping others, Bresee considers his career with OCO to be very rewarding. “It’s good to know that we are bringing needed services and new funding into a county where there are few resources. I’m pleased to be working for OCO, a community action agency that is doing all it can to addressing the issues of homelessness, unemployment and poverty in Oswego County,” he said.
OCO offers more than 50 human service programs that serve more than 28,000 people each year. Operating in more than 80 locations throughout Oswego County, OCO’ workforce has more than 650 employees and 1,000 highly valued volunteers. A private, non-profit agency that is celebrating its 45th anniversary, OCO is on a roll to continue helping people, supporting communities, changing lives, and improving the quality of life for Oswego County residents. OCO, Inc is a United Way of Greater Oswego County member agency. For more information, visit OCO’s website at www.oco.org