Non Profit Education
Driven by the fundamental belief that everyone who works hard deserves the opportunity to succeed, Opportunity Junction’s mission is, “to help motivated Contra Costa job seekers gain the skills and confidence to launch careers that lead to financial security.”
Since its creation in 2000, Opportunity Junction has grown from a start-up nonprofit running a single job training program into a regional hub with effective programs for low-income job seekers.
Opportunity Junction offers four core programs that help motivated, low-income East Contra Costa County job seekers facing addressable barriers to achieve long-term, sustainable employment.
The Administrative Careers Training Program prepares participants for administrative careers by combining computer training with life skills, case management, paid work experience, mental health services, career skills, job placement, and alumni services. Last fiscal year, the program placed 29 graduates into initial employment, earning an average of $17.24/hour. In addition, 23 alumni were placed into new positions or advanced, earning an average wage of $18.34/hour. 73% of graduates retained employment at 18 months following placement.
The Healthcare Career Pathway (HCP), developed in partnership with Mount Diablo Adult Education and Ombudsmen Services of Contra Costa and Solano, provides a new model for the delivery of patient care-focused training with trainees entering the workforce as certified nursing assistants. Much like the Administrative Careers Training Program, additional services include one-on-one case management, food and transportation support, job placement assistance, and professional skills. During the last fiscal year, we enrolled two cohorts of this pilot program, with 27 entering initial employment at an average starting wage of $17.51.
Career Counseling and Placement Assistance (CCPA) provides individualized career development, case management, and job placement services in Bay Point, as part of SparkPoint Contra Costa. We also offer CCPA in our Antioch office and at Los Medanos College in partnership with the Contra Costa Workforce Collaborative. Last fiscal year, 57 participants were placed into positions earning an average of $17.02/hour. An additional 10 alumni were placed into new positions averaging $15.14/hour.
Road Map helps low-income, vulnerable young adults, ages 18 to 24, obtain employment through access to short-term training opportunities and/or placement into jobs. Supports include one-on-one career counseling to develop career goals, bi-weekly cohort meetings where youth develop professional competencies, activities to develop job search skills, and access to resources to meet basic needs. Last fiscal year, 52 young adults enrolled in Opportunity Junction core employment programs, and 35 were placed into initial employment earning an average hourly wage of $14.18/hour.
Opportunity Junction also operates a Technology Center, offering the community free online classes in computer basics and English as a Second Language. During the tax season, we offer Do-It-Yourself Tax Assistance, which teaches taxpayers to prepare their own returns using a free online interface. Currently, due to the pandemic and public health mandates, classes are only offered online via Zoom, and in-person access to the Technology Center is limited.
Altogether, Opportunity Junction served 1,092 residents last fiscal year in one or more of their programs, leading to employment for 131 participants.
Our Healthcare Career Pathway partnership is highlighted in the 2021 California Master Plan for Aging as a "promising practice" in the priority area of Caregiving.
Our Administrative Careers Training Program is highlighted in the MDRC-authored, James Irvine Foundation funded report, Beyond the Basics: Integrating Workforce and College-Readiness Training Into California's Adult Basic Skills Programs.
We are also pleased to be a 2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit on GreatNonprofits.org and to have earned a 2020 Platinum Seal of Transparency from Guidestar.org, in addition to earning a perfect 100 rating from Charity Navigator.