Operating under the premise that “everyone who works hard deserves the opportunity to succeed,” the folks at Antioch-based nonprofit Opportunity Junction are working on a fundraiser to help continue to offer education and career counseling programs to Contra Costa County residents. The virtual 2022 Imagine Gala will feature a silent auction and special event April 23.
Opportunity Junction provides training, support, work experience and placement assistance for job seekers throughout Contra Costa County. They primarily teach administrative assistant training programs, which focus on office technology skills, and offer a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training program. Tuition waivers are available for qualifying students.
“The organization helps Contra Costa job seekers facing personal and systemic barriers to employment,” said Alexis Bonn, Opportunity Junction’s director of development. “We provide career training and placement assistance, including mental health services and wraparound support.”
Opportunity Junction is part of the Contra Costa Workforce Collaborative (CCWC), a part of East Bay Works. The organization also partners with various career-oriented programs throughout the county — for instance, the CNA training program partners with Mount Diablo Adult Education and Empowered Aging. Bonn explains that programs like CNA training offer motivated job seekers the opportunity to enter the healthcare field, earn a higher wage and access pathways to tremendous economic success.
“Before this training, working in a hospital setting was a dream that has now become my reality,” said Doreen Katiba, a graduate of Opportunity Junction’s CNA program who recently earned an award for CNA of the Year. “I am a new me. I see myself as valuable in this field. OJ (Opportunity Junction) made a healthcare worker out of me.”
Opportunity Junction also offers no-cost career counselors in its Antioch office and in Bay Point at SparkPoint Contra Costa. Services include goal review, employment matching services, job training, resume help, interview preparation and job placement assistance.
Opportunity Junction’s virtual 2022 Imagine Gala will be held via Zoom from 5 to 6 p.m. April 23. The organization will also host a virtual silent auction April 15-23. For more information or to register for the gala, visit opportunityjunction.org/support-us/gala online. For those who would like to learn more about the program or help donate to the organization, go to opportunityjunction.org.
Bonn said the funds raised from this annual event and auction enable job seekers to launch careers that lead to long-term financial security.
“Their success paves the way for generations to come, making their families and our communities stronger,” she said.
Drought landscaping: The Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) has one last episode in their landscaping webinar series, but don’t worry if you’ve missed the others. The CCWD is keeping recorded versions in their library on their website.
The final webinar on April 27 features information on “Drip Irrigation 101: How to install a Drip Irrigation System.” Registration is open for free. Those interested can sign up now through the CCWD Conservation Calendar at ccwater.com/calendar.aspx?CID=22.
Other webinars in the series included “CCWD Lawn to Garden Rebate Program Overview and Q&A,” “Water-Wise Landscape Design and Plant Selection” and “How to Remove your Lawn — DIY Sheet Mulching.” For the time being, these videos can also be seen at ccwater.com/441/Water-Efficiency-Webinars.
Roni Gehlke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.