MDRC recently released a new report titled, Beyond the Basics: Integrating Workforce and College-Readiness Training Into California's Adult Basic Skills Programs. Funded by The James Irvine Foundation, the report is about programs for low-skilled individuals in training or career pathway programs. Opportunity Junction was mentioned 14 times throughout the article highlighting the various facets that make our full-service programs so successful.
We are proud and grateful to announce the following new grants and funding partnerships:
The Anonymous Fund of the East Bay Community Foundation: The Anonymous Fund at the East Bay Community Foundation issued two anonymous grants of valuable core operating support. The East Bay Community Foundation partners with donors, social movements, and the community to eliminate structural barriers, advance racial equity, and transform political, social, and economic outcomes for all who call the East Bay home.
BBVA Compass: BBVA Compass Bank issued a grant to provide general operating support. BBVA team members volunteer at Opportunity Junction, illustrating the bank's commitment to providing opportunities for people to create brighter futures.
Firedoll Foundation: The Firedoll Foundation issued a generous renewal grant to support the Job Training and Placement Program. The Firedoll Foundation is a private family foundation founded by two unrepentant liberals from the 60s who still believe in the motto, "If you are not part of the solution, you're part of the problem."
Tipping Point Community: Tipping Point Community awarded a special, one-time grant to upgrade computer workstations at Opportunity Junction. Tipping Point fights poverty in the Bay Area for the 1.7 million people who don't have the resources to meet their basic needs.
U.S. Bank: Under their workforce education and economic prosperity priority, U.S. Bank awarded a new grant for core operating support. U.S. Bank knows that a strong small business environment and an educated workforce ensure the prosperity of communities.
Twelve happy graduates of the Job Training and Placement Program celebrated the season with their own graduation ceremony on May 23 at El Campanil Theater in Antioch. Each graduate shared their personal story about how the program changed their hopes for the future.
More than 160 supporters gathered at Diablo County Club on April 6 for an upbeat night of festivities hosted by platinum sponsor Seeno Homes. With support of sponsors, volunteers, board members, and guests, our 2019 Imagine Gala - Reach for the Stars was a major success, raising $120,000 for programs, supplies, and student work experience.
The theme of the night - Reach for the Stars - embodied our event's focus on celebrating the successes of our participants who dare to Reach for the Stars. And that's not all. We also celebrated the Opportunity Junction community. Whether sponsor, guest, employer, donor, volunteer, staff, or alum, your involvement with Opportunity Junction inspires us to keep reaching for the stars, to keep launching careers that can break the cycle of poverty.
An aging population brings with it a greater need for healthcare services. With an increasing number of healthcare jobs, there is an opportunity for job seekers to enter the field earning a higher wage and accessing a pathway to greater economic success! This starts with a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Training Program as a first step in creating a healthcare career pathway.
"I feel so much better and happier now!"
Rachel was unclear about her future and her career path before coming to Opportunity Junction's administrative training program. She had struggled in high school and through a few courses in community college, and she realized that a traditional learning environment was not for her.
"With my new career path, I know that my daughter will have a better life. I am excited about my future, and I feel so much better and happier now. I will be debt free in a month-I've already paid off two credit cards! We are saving to buy a house and we are growing our family with my second baby due in July. Where you work definitely has an impact on everyday life, and I am now living the life I always wanted."
"It took me six months to find my last job, in 2015, and the process of applying for a job has changed significantly. During those six months I did not get a single response for an interview, but when I started working with Opportunity Junction's career services, things improved almost immediately."
"Opportunity Junction will always hold a piece of my heart. I was homeless, living in poverty, and didn't have enough to eat. I believed in the people at OJ who believed in me until I was able to believe in myself. I know the staff will always support me because they got me through the hardest time of my life."