Contra Costa nonprofit Opportunity Junction opens recruitment for job training programs

Contra Costa nonprofit Opportunity Junction opens recruitment for job training programs
Opportunity Junction’s class of Certified Nursing Assistants take a moment between classes to smile for the camera. The nonprofit organization is now recruiting for its September programs. (Photo courtesy of Opportunity Junction)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (August 20, 2022) — Nonprofit organization Opportunity Junction (OJ) is actively accepting applications for its workforce development programs’ September classes.

The Administrative Careers Training (ACT) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) courses will be offered in person at no cost for low-income motivated job seekers who wish to pursue sustainable careers in administrative or health care fields.

Administrative Careers Training

At no cost to qualifying applicants, the ACT offers 12 weeks of full-time training in office computer applications, academic enhancement and life skills. Following training, students enter into a paid internship for up to four months. Case managers offer support, ensuring links to child care, health care, food, transportation and other essential services.

Meanwhile, a licensed OJ clinician provides therapy to address trauma and other issues that may hinder employment. Interns also engage in comprehensive career-building activities, including skills assessment, job search, resume and cover letter preparation, and interview practice. Alumni services include ongoing career counseling and case management, helping alumni maintain employment, obtain a raise or promotion, and, if needed, search for new employment.

Before coming to OJ, ACT alumna Dawn Nelson was grieving the loss of her mother while out of work during the pandemic and living with her brother. Nelson said the leadership and guidance that OJ provided helped build her confidence when speaking to potential employers. She had previously struggled with explaining why there were employment gaps on her resume. Shortly after graduating from the ACT, she landed a full-time remote position and now lives in her own home in Concord.

She encouraged anyone considering enrollment to give themselves the benefit of the doubt.

“You will have an amazing support system. The support you get from the OJ staff is absolutely amazing, and if you think you can’t, you can,” she said. “I am the prime example that you can.”

Instruction for this program will take place at OJ’s headquarters in Antioch beginning Sept. 26.

Certified Nursing Assistant

OJ’s CNA program also combines skills training at no cost to the participant with wraparound services and a professional skills curriculum for those on the health care track. Students can enroll for courses either at OJ’s Antioch site or in Concord with OJ’s partner, Mt. Diablo Adult Education. Much like the ACT program, additional services include one-on-one case management, food and transportation support, job placement assistance, and professional skills development.

Immediately after graduation, Christopher Ledgister was recruited for a new job as a CNA – a role in high demand across the state. He said he’s been grateful to Opportunity Junction for helping him build confidence in the educational setting.

Through experience from working with patients on-site, he further noted that he’s already seen firsthand how CNAs can make a difference in the lives of vulnerable seniors.

“You should check out the field if you have a feeling that you have enough patience, you have enough understanding, and you have that want to help others who can’t necessarily help themselves,” Ledgister said.

CNA courses in both Antioch and Concord begin on Sept. 12.

Opportunity Junction was launched in 2000 by a diverse founding board representing the private sector, government, and educators who envisioned training low-income job seekers for employment that would lead to self-sufficiency while meeting the growing need for technologically skilled administrative workers. The agency has grown from a start-up nonprofit running a single job training and placement program into a regional hub for economic security programs.

For more information, visit or Interested job seekers can also attend drop-in information sessions, held every Monday at 10 a.m., at OJ’s Antioch office, 3102 Delta Fair Blvd. For details, contact Annabelle Villanueva at