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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Opportunity Junction

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Employment Preparation & Procurement, Job Training, Vocational & Technical Schools

Mission: We believe that everyone who is willing to work hard deserves an opportunity to succeed. We exist to break the cycle of poverty. Our mission is to fight poverty by helping low-income Contra Costa residents gain the skills and confidence to get and keep jobs that support themselves and their families.

Results: During FY2016-17, our team placed 117 new job seekers into initial employment. Another 66 alumni were supported in re-entering employment or earning a raise or promotion. Altogether, in all of our programs, we serve between 900 and 1,000 local residents annually. Since we started tracking employment verification in 2010, our alumni have earned more than $44 million to support themselves and their families. Our five-year retention rate for the flagship Job Training and Placement Program, based on verified employment status, stands at 73%. Altogether, we serve between 900 and 1,000 local residents annually.

Target demographics: motivated low-income job seekers facing addressable barriers to employment

Direct beneficiaries per year: 932

Geographic areas served: Contra Costa County

Programs: 1. The Job Training and Placement Program, which prepares participants for administrative careers by combining computer training with life skills, case management, paid experience, mental health services, career skills, job placement, and alumni services. 2. Individualized Career Development Services (CDS), offered in partnership with SparkPoint Contra Costa in Bay Point, which provides case management, career counseling, group activities, and job placement. 3. Road Map to College, offered in partnership with Los Medanos College (LMC), which guides and supports youth aged 18-24 in enrolling and completing LMC’s Career Technical Education (and then entering and retaining employment). 4. The evening Technology Center, powered primarily by volunteers, offering the community free access to computers and the Internet, plus drop-in classes in software applications and English as a Second Language. 5. Do-It-Yourself Tax Assistance, which teaches taxpayers to prepare their own returns using MyFreeTaxes.com.

Community Stories

69 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Rachel Nicole S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I started the Job Training and Placement Program at the end of September. I was tired and at the end of my rope working minimum wage food service jobs and looking for a way out, and there appeared Opportunity Junction. I have a long history of starting things and not finishing them, but this program was the right fit for me as it is fast paced and allows me to complete the work here without having to worry about finding a way to do it at home. Although this program has been a lot of work, it has been worth it to gain skills that will allow me to find a better job and provide a better future for my child. Thank you Opportunity Junction!

Delorease N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Opportunity Junction is an AWESOME nonprofit organization. Opportunity Junction provides so much to its trainees, alumni and staff. The opportunities here are so amazing. The training is so organized and the staff offers so much knowledge and assistance as well as the alumni. Opportunity Junction provides you with many valuable skills necessary in the workforce as well as life skills and an array of necessary resources to put your life on track. Opportunity Junction is not only an amazing training opportunity but offers so much more.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Opportunity Junction is a non profit organization that offers job training and a plethora of other resources. I am a trainee currently enrolled in the program. OJ has provided me with more opportunity than I could have ever imagined.

I have a generous amount of support from the teachers and full staff. I've learned a great amount about computer software, Business English, dealing with other personality types, and finally about myself. This program has pushed me past limits I never considered.

Since my enrollment 6 weeks ago I've acquired time management skills, problem solving skills and increased my grammar. I am gaining confidence in my professional as well as personal abilities.

In conclusion I highly recommend this program to any one interested in bettering themselves in their career path and in life.

Thank you Opportunity Junction for investing in me.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Opportunity Junction has provided me the skills i will need to succeed in a professional business environment and i could not have asked for a better experience. The staff genuinely care about you and will do everything they can to ensure your success. If it wasn't for O.J. I don't know where my life would be!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great place! Friendly people, nice environment. I definitely recommend to anyone that is looking to get a good training for a great office career, or just looking to improve their computer skills.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I love this place! I walked in not knowing what I wanted to do, just that I wanted a career and not another dead end job. Everyone there is extremely helpful and genuine, made me feel very welcomed and unashamed to share my story. The teachers will push you to be your best, and are very knowledgeable of outside services that can help you-they genuinely want to help you in every way.

Donor

Rating: 5

Opportunity Junction goes very deep with it's client. The best part about what they do is create relationships with a populations that really needs them. They become so close by providing 7 months of FREE training and get 92% of their graduates jobs within 6 months of graduation. Amazing place with amazing staff and students.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Opportunity Junction truly touches the lives of those they serve, and has measurable results on top of it. They approach their programs with their clients in mind, what matters to them most and how can Opportunity Junction add even more value. Every story I hear from graduates brings me tears hearing how this institution has raised them up to become more confident and earn a livable wage. The mission and how the team executes on it is inspiring!

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a retired public funder of nonprofits serving lower income households, I always evaluated nonprofits on whether we should continue funding based on documented accomplishments. In OJ’s case - jobs! How many clients graduated from OJ’s program is great but more importantly how many were placed in living wage jobs! OJ always exceeded their goals and my expectations! That is why I supported and continue to support the work of this exceptional nonprofit - Opportunity Junction.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been in this training program for 4 weeks and it's been an amazing experience. This is a blessing for those who want a change in their life and a great career. The training is worth it, the commitment is worth it! You get more than what you came in with, Opportunity Junction is for the people. They want to see you succeed, which is rare in this day and age. Plus it's FREE, it doesn't get any better than that!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My experience at Opportunity Junction was very worth my time and my new learned computer skills have been a great benefit to my new job at the County. I can give the staff at OJ 5+ stars for providing me new knowledge and guiding me through my most difficult time in my life. I gained self esteem and I was given the opportunity to believe in myself again. My time at OJ was rewarding and graduating was my success! This program changes your life and the staff listen to your needs. I am grateful to have been part of this program and I highly recommend it to the community. Thank you OJ for all your support!
Noelia

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization helps low-income people, not only to learn technical skills and get jobs, but also to have the resilience and life skills to keep moving forward. I've seen the results personally.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Opportunity Junction is a great non profit. Opportunity Junction cares about equipping their employees to do good in their role. We are like a family here. We come together to make sure that we are doing all that we can to better our programs, reach people, and help them gain the skills and confidence to launch a career!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello, I'm Brittany, & currently a trainee at Opportunity Junction class 50 and the JTTP is amazing, I absolutely admire all the staff here: they are super dedicated and like sincerely enjoy doing their jobs which is more or less helping individuals overcome poverty with job training and also an amazing Alumni program that will help you with all you your job searching needs basically FOREVER! When you become apart of the Opportunity Junction family you are able to not only receive job training and career placement, you will be able to receive a professional wardrobe, friends, unbiased opinion,Support,a weekly food bag, and a hot lunch M-T. This is only what i can think of off hand Opportunity Junction offers so much more for anyone who is motivated and ready to begin life again. The staff here will build up your confidence in the workplace and you'll value the experience and appreciate the journey.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Opportunity Junction is a wonderful comprehensive job training and placement program. Not only have I obtained updated computer skills, being able to then obtain certifications from Microsoft for the Microsoft applications (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) I have also received training in all other things pertaining to administrative work; typing, how to write a cover letter, resume and how to present myself in an interview... even what clothes to wear! The encouragement and support is awesome.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Starting over. What a true blessing Opportunity Junction is. I learned new computer skills and life skills. The staff at Opportunity Junction is amazing and helpful. If you are looking for a new start in life check out Opportunity Junction it is great place to begin.

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I left the retail industry in an attempt to change careers, I did so in a shattered frame of mind. My previous management team had thoroughly convinced me that I was a failure and unworthy of making the paltry $11 per hour they were paying me. My confidence was in tatters and felt sure that I could never be, or feel like, a success. I left, not out of hope but, out of desperation.

Then I found Opportunity Junction and it has been a godsend. Not only have they provided me with the opportunity to show my current computer skills, while learning new ones, but they have done so in an environment that encourages me to both succeed and feel successful. I cannot stress how important both of those factors can be. Between this, and the other services they offer, I have found hope that I can find a job that is a world above and beyond my previous job experiences.

I firmly believe that there need to be far more programs like Opportunity Junction throughout the country and that, for those that already exist, they must be thoroughly advertised and made well-known.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Without current computer skills, trying to find employment in this day and age was going nowhere for me. Opportunity Junction is providing me training in that and much more. In addition to learning Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, Access and PowerPoint, we have the chance to become certified in each category, thereby proving to potential employers that we are proficient in those areas. We also have training in typing, Business English and Math along with various other research projects, giving additional preparation towards interviewing and presentation skills. I had just about exhausted all of my options before coming to Opportunity Junction, but now I am confident that I am on the road to a new chapter in my life, filled with many possibilities. “Thank you so much” doesn’t nearly sum up all to which I am grateful for, since being able to go through the Opportunity Junction program has truly made all the difference in my life’s direction.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Opportunity Junction was a life changer for me, it helped open my computer awareness to a whole new level that is better than I ever could have imagined. One day I decided I didn't want to be in the same situation I always put myself in, and when I heard of this place and what was being offered I knew it was the best choice out there for me. Opportunity Junction is a place where if you need help they try to get you that help in anyway they can, as long as you're doing your part by helping yourself succeed in, and with them you have a great support system to journey with you the whole way.

Client Served

Rating: 4

I have never had a job before, but OJ has helped me gain confidence to get out there and join the work world.