In 2011, just before her 8th anniversary working as a school bus operator and trainer for First Student in Richmond, Gwenette Moore suffered an injury that took her out of work.
Gwen was eager to get a new job, but realized she needed to update her skills to get into the administrative field.
She enrolled in Opportunity Junction's Administrative Careers Training program.
At Opportunity Junction, our job seekers are determined to get back into the job market and launch their careers.
Job training classes are successfully operating remotely. Our candidates are successfully earning positions with a number of our employer partners.
The pandemic has made things more difficult for our job seekers and alumni. Fully 77% of our alumni and job seekers report employment-related needs for themselves or a household member. We are committed to meeting those needs, and you can help!
We are proud and grateful to announce the following new grants and funding partnerships:
Ahlsten Foundation: The Ahlsten Foundation is a new donor to Opportunity Junction, providing an unrestricted grant which the organization will use to address critical needs. The Ahlsten Foundation has a passion and a vision for a better world through the support of education, the improvement of health, and the alleviation of human suffering.
With a strong work history and a love for lifelong learning, Maria Acosta was stunned to find herself among the 2.4 million Californians out of work by April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. After a couple weeks at home, she knew she wanted to get back to work.
"I was feeling really stressed out about my living situation and about COVID-19. Staying at home for even a short time was making me feel depressed. A Contra Costa County Navigator connected me to SparkPoint." Maria shares.
Dear Opportunity Junction Community,
Thank you for your support in all forms during this past year. Your partnership means even more during this period of crisis. Between the day when our fiscal year started on July 1, 2019 and the day when it closed on June 30, 2020, the world shifted radically from under our feet.
The bottom line, if you'd like it up front, is that our entire organization has been nimble and determined to provide continuity for the motivated job seekers we serve. Employer partners are successfully recruiting our graduates. Volunteer trainers and mock interviewers have learned to use Zoom. Every program except onsite public computer access has pivoted to online delivery. Even the 2020 Imagine Gala pivoted to a virtual format that has become a model for many of our community partners, thanks to your support.
On June 25th, 12 graduates of the Administrative Careers Training Program celebrated their completion of the program in a Zoom graduation ceremony. Seventy-nine people, including the graduates, family, friends, community members, Opportunity Junction staff, current trainees, and alumni, attended Opportunity Junction's first ever online graduation.
Dear Opportunity Junction Community,
We reacted with shock, heartbreak, and rage to the brazen murder of George Floyd two weeks ago. But this wasn’t an isolated incident: we remember Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor and countless others. Some of us took to the streets to protest. Others reached out to family and friends to offer support.
But we have not yet come to terms with the entrenched, systematic racism that pervades not just police practices but the spheres of housing, education, and employment.
The trainees of Class 61 of the Administrative Careers Training (ACT) program completed homework, presentations, and Microsoft Office Specialist certifications, all while working from home. They were really hoping to gather with friends and family for an in-person celebration.
"When the COVID pandemic hit, my husband lost overtime hours at work. With my classes on hold and his reduced hours, I was starting to worry." Opportunity Junction staff stepped up to help CNA (certified nursing assistant) students gain employment even amidst this crisis. Less than four weeks of training and a certification test —that is all that was left of Andrea's intensive training program to become a Certified Nursing Assistant when the COVID pandemic shut down Contra Costa County
On April 25, 2020 Opportunity Junction hosted their 20th Anniversary Imagine Gala, only this time, it was virtual! The event was a roaring success, bringing in over $121,000 for Opportunity Junction programs and services. The funds raised from this annual event are more critical now than ever.
The needs of the job seekers and alumni we serve at Opportunity Junction didn't shut down on March 16th, and neither did we. Staff members are offering relief to those hit hardest, thanks to our supporters' generosity, while pivoting to remote program delivery.