Opportunity Junction Grads Ready for Opportunities

The El Campanil Theatre in Antioch hosted a very special graduation ceremony on Dec. 22 for thirteen talented and grateful Contra Costa County residents.

Known as Opportunity Junction’s “Class 36”, this group of graduates definitely has something to celebrate this Holiday Season having just completed an intensive three months of full-time job placement and training.

Receiving their diplomas, each 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 get through the intensive program. They also recognized in their personal and emotional speeches that this was a life-changing opportunity which they were thankful to have been selected to participate in.

Founded in 1999, Opportunity Junction is a non-profit organization in Antioch which provides 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 successful 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 continue to be offered services including career counselling and mentoring indefinitely.

According to Alissa Friedman, Executive Director at Opportunity Junction, “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 which can meet their basic needs.

She added, “Last night’s graduation ceremony means these thirteen wonderful people are now ready to get on the road to economic self-sufficiency with enhanced skills and more self confidence.”

What’s next for these special graduates? In the New Year they return to Opportunity Junction 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.

Ms. Friedman reminds potential employers that unlike staffing firms, Opportunity Junction’s Temp-to-Hire program has no conversion fees. Contact her to find out if your organization or agency qualifies for available tax credits through this program.

If you missed the graduation ceremony last night in Antioch, don’t worry because it will be available for viewing on CCTV (Comcast channel 27, Astound channel 32 and AT&T U-verse channel 99) Monday, January 9 at 8:00 pm, Wednesday, January 11 at 2 pm, Wednesday, January 18 at 2 pm.

For information about Opportunity Junction’s programs and services, visit http://www.opportunityjunction.org or contact Alissa Friedman, Executive Director, at 925-776-1133, alissa@opportunityjunction.org.

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