We believe that everyone who is willing to work hard deserves an opportunity to succeed.
Unfortunately, too many of our neighbors face barriers to employment such as a lack of skills or confidence that they cannot overcome on their own. They need training and support to break the cycle of low-wage jobs and public assistance.
Opportunity Junction helps low-income Contra Costa residents get and keep good jobs by providing training, support, experience, and employer introductions.
When we work together, motivated job seekers get what they need to launch a career. Their success makes their families and our community stronger.
Our long-term goal for program participants is self-sustaining employment. Last year, we:
- Served 903 local residents in one or more of our programs
- Made 120 unique initial placements, plus 80 alumni advancements and re-placements
- Achieved a 73% 5-year retention rate
Through 2016, Opportunity Junction alumni have earned more than $40 million to support their families and build their communities.
Core Programs Specifically for Job Seekers:
- Job Training and Placement Program (administrative careers)
- Road Map to College (accessing college Career Technical Education)
- Career Counseling and Placement Assistance (individualized)
Additional Programs to Serve Low-Income Residents:
- Technology Center (including computer and ESL classes)
- Do-It-Yourself Tax Assistance
Founded in 1999 Opportunities for Technology Information Careers (OPTIC) was the brainchild of Meryl Natchez, then CEO of TechProse, who was also chair of the Technology Task Force of the Contra Costa Council (now the East Bay Leadership Council). Natchez saw a need for workers with strong technology and workplace skills. At the same time, Welfare Reform mandated that aid recipients move from welfare to full-time employment. Natchez felt the technology sector held the promise of true economic self-sufficiency for these individuals. The founding Board, a collaboration of the private sector, government, and educators, developed a Job Training and Placement Program based on best practices in workforce development, with a focus on computer skills. In February 2000, OPTIC incorporated and began its work, continued and expanded today as Opportunity Junction.
Mission, Vision, and Values
Mission: Opportunity Junction fights poverty by helping low-income Contra Costa residents gain the skills and confidence to get and keep jobs that support themselves and their families.
Vision: Everyone who is willing to work hard has the opportunity to succeed.
Values: Excellence, integrity, and relationship.