On November 18, 2021, Opportunity Junction was awarded the Economic Justice Award as part of the East Bay Philanthropy Awards. The philanthropy awards are an annual celebration of impact, innovation, and generosity in the social sector. They are hosted by the East Bay Leadership Council (EBLC).
Opportunity Junction was nominated for the ways its job training programs embody the values celebrated by the philanthropy awards: equity, resilience, creativity, compassion, risk-taking, and sustained commitment.
During the pandemic, Opportunity Junction moved its flagship Administrative Careers Training program online and continued graduating and placing its participants. Its Healthcare Career Pathway, a partnership with Mt. Diablo Adult Education and Empowered Aging, expanded its Certified Nursing Assistant training by launching a second track in Opportunity Junction's Antioch office.
The philanthropy awards are an annual celebration of impact, innovation, and generosity in the social sector. They are hosted by the East Bay Leadership Council (EBLC).
The cost to attend and the EBLC's work in support of the nonprofit sector was underwritten by the event's sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo and Premier Sponsor Martinez Refining Company.
It was not a factor in the award, but Opportunity Junction was originally founded in 2000 out of the Technology Task Force of the EBLC (then known as the Contra Costa Council). Meryl Natchez, then co-chair of the task force, led a high-profile group of county leaders to launch a training program to meet employers' needs for technology-savvy employees.
Opportunity Junction's job training programs have since demonstrated outstanding long-term impact to third-party evaluators. Alumni of OJ programs have verified more than $86 million in earnings since 2010.