The program combines computer training with career skills, paid experience, case management, mental health services, and long-term alumni services. Three months of unpaid training are followed with up to four months of paid internship using the skills introduced during training. Alumni are followed for at least 18 months and continue to be offered services including career counseling and mentoring indefinitely.
The program includes:
Twelve Weeks of Full-Time Training in:
- Computer Skills covers Windows, Internet Explorer, Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access and QuickBooks; and
- Career Skills includes many team-building exercises and covers goal-setting, overcoming obstacles, managing change, self-care (e.g., nutrition, exercise, and preventative health care), financial education (including credit repair), business etiquette (workplace expectations, appropriate dress), and communications (including customer service and public speaking);
- Academic Skills includes Business English, Business Math, and Test-Taking Skills.
Up to Four Months Paid, On-the-Job Experience
Once training is complete, Opportunity Junction hires participants as paid interns providing contracted services for local businesses and administrative support for the staff. This experience gives interns confidence in applying their new skills to real world projects and challenges. Unlike many social enterprises, we hire every graduate of the training phase.
Case managers closely support participants throughout their stay at Opportunity Junction and for 18 months following job placement, ensuring that each participant is linked to child-care, health care, transportation, and other needed services.
On-Site Counseling Services
Recognizing that many of our participants are in need of therapeutic counseling, our onsite counselor assesses all JTPP participants and provides referrals, counseling, and workshops. Integrating these services into the program itself helps to de-stigmatize them and facilitate participation.
Personalized Job Placement
In order to facilitate a good fit between participants and employers, Opportunity Junction interns engage in comprehensive career-building activities such as skill and interest assessment, job search, resume and cover letter preparation, and interview practice. Our Employer Engagement staff ensure that employers are matched with candidates who have the skills and personality to succeed in each position we fill.
Following job placement, alumni are eligible for the Active Alumni Job-Seeker Program and the Alumni Wage Advancement Academy. Alumni serve on the Alumni Council, developing other events and programs. Alumni services also include use of the onsite Alumni Center and ongoing case management and counseling services, as needed.