In addition to celebrating the holiday season, Opportunity Junction’s “Class 36” celebrated the completion of an intensive three months of full-time job placement and training.
The graduates spoke of the commitment it took, not only by themselves but by their spouses, children, parents and friends – many of whom were in the audience – to run the gauntlet of the rigorous program. They recognized it as a life-changing opportunity.
Founded in 1999, Opportunity Junction is a nonprofit organization in Antioch providing education and career training for qualified Contra Costa residents. Its mission is to fight poverty by helping low-income adults gain the skills and confidence to support themselves and their families.
Supported by community partnerships, grants, in-kind donations, pro-bono services and donations from the public, Opportunity Junction’s Job Training and Placement program is able to combine technology training, personal development and real-world experience to adults. Alumni are followed for at least 18 months and offered services including career counseling and mentoring on an ongoing basis.
According to Executive Director Alissa Friedman, “There is a tremendous need for workers today to have strong technology and workplace skills. Without education, experience and stability, many residents in Contra Costa County struggle to secure a job that can meet their basic needs. Last night’s graduation ceremony means these 13 wonderful people are now ready to get on the road to economic self-sufficiency with enhanced skills and more self confidence.”
The graduates return to Opportunity Junction in 2012 to commence up to four months of paid internships using the skills introduced during training – that is, if they don’t find a full-time job first.
Friedman reminds potential employers that unlike staffing firms, Opportunity Junction’s Temp-to-Hire program has no conversion fees. Employers should contact her to find out if their organization or agency qualifies for tax credits.
Those who missed the graduation ceremony can view it on CCTV (Comcast channel 27, Astound channel 32 and AT&T U-verse channel 99) Monday, Jan. 9 at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 2 p.m.; and Wednesday, Jan. 18 at 2 p.m.
For information about Opportunity Junction’s programs and services, visit www.opportunityjunction.org, call Friedman at 925-776-1133 or e-mail email@example.com.