Opportunity Junction fights poverty by helping low-income adults gain the skills and confidence to support themselves and their families. At Opportunity Junction, technology, literacy and personal development combine with real world experience to put people on the road to economic self-sufficiency. Visit our website for our most current marketing materials and most recent newsletters.
Founded in 1999 under the name Opportunities for Technology Information Careers (OPTIC), the organization was the brainchild of Meryl Natchez, the CEO of TechProse, then serving as chair of the Technology Task Force of the Contra Costa Council. When Natchez took over as chair of that task force in 1997, she saw a tremendous need for workers with strong technology and workplace skills at the same time as she knew that Welfare Reform had mandated that many single mothers move from welfare to full-time employment. Natchez saw the technology sector as holding the promise of true economic self-sufficiency for these women. The founding Board, a collaboration of the private sector, government, and the education community, developed a Job Training and Placement Program based on best practices in workforce development, with a focus on computer skills. That program was launched in February of 2000, the year of the organization's incorporation.
Opportunity Junction promotes its mission through four main programs: 1) an intensive, technology-based Job Training & Placement Program that prepares participants for administrative careers; 2) an evening Technology Center, offering the community free access to computers and the Internet, plus classes in Computer Basics and English as a Second Language; 3) Do-It-Yourself Tax Assistance, which teaches taxpayers to prepare their own returns using the I-CAN eFile web interface; and 4) Career Development Case Management at Bay Point’s Community Career Center, providing Workforce Investment Act services to local job seekers.