Posts Tagged ‘Jolene Varley Handy’

President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Catholic Charities Case Manager Tanya Thomas Share Stage

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

By Alice Kenny

Catholic Charities case manager Tanya Thomas, a gold star military spouse and the first graduate of Grace’s training program, part of a Clinton Global Initiative commitment to assist female veterans and their families, shared the stage with former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the third annual Clinton Global Initiative America meeting held in Chicago. The meeting drew together experts from across the nation to develop solutions that promote economic recovery, such as the Grace Institute training program that helped Ms. Thomas find work.

Hillary Clinton introduced Ms. Thomas and Jolene Varley Handy, Grace Institute’s Sr. Director of Strategic Partnerships. Ms. Thomas wore a palm-colored dress and jacket.  Ms. Varley Handy wore a black dress and green jacket.  And yes; Ms. Clinton wore a blue pants suit.

Ms. Thomas was the only client presenter at the two-day conference.  She shared in front of 2000 guests her story about how her life was transformed by Grace Institute and the Catholic Charities case manager job she landed as a result.

“Veterans often face difficulty matching civilian skills to civilian work and they can face health challenges such as post traumatic stress,” Ms. Thomas told the audience. “These obstacles affect not only our veterans but their families as well.

“My husband was a disabled vet and taking  care of him took me out of the workforce for eight years…Grace Institute was my beacon of hope providing me with resources to reenter the work force.”

Her experience at Grace Institute and its close connections with Catholic Charities helped her land her current job here.

Grace Institute, an affiliate of Catholic Charities, has been providing tuition-free job-training skills for women in New York City for more than 100 years. Through this commitment to action, Grace is now reaching out to serve female veterans and military families to assist with  the transition to life off base and the civilian workforce. The program includes intensive computer, business writing and career development classes.  It prepares students for interviews and draws on its extensive lists of employer contacts to arrange meetings and help the students find work.

Watch and listen to Ms. Thomas on “Together We Can:  Driving a Future of Shared Responsibility and Shared Benefit.”

Check out this recent interview with Grace Institute’s Tanya Lynn Thomas, as she speaks with Msgr. Kevin Sullivan on JustLove on SIRIUS XM Satellite Radio.  JustLove airs weekly on Saturday at 10am EST on The Catholic Channel 129.

Are you an unemployed woman looking to brush up your skills and find a job?

Click to learn more about Grace Institute, its special program for female veterans and their families and all its tuition-free job-training programs for New York City women.

A House of Widows and Orphans

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

 By Alice Kenny

The widow of a Marine Corps veteran, Tanya Thomas knows firsthand about pain and loss.  Now as the first graduate of Grace Institute’s training program for female veterans and their families — and after landing a job at Catholic Charities — she knows firsthand about success.

Tanya stands among a growing number of female veterans and military spouses who took a disproportionate hit during the Great Recession and battle homelessness and unemployment.  The jobless rate for female Gulf-War era veterans has been stuck at nearly 13 percent for the past two years, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“I can’t begin to say what a gift going to Grace and getting a job like this is,” Tanya said.  ”It’s helping me build my future.”

When her children were ages two and four, her husband, U.S. Marine Dwight Anthony Thomas, developed a blood clot in his brain that ultimately killed him.

“I couldn’t get out of bed after he died,” she said.  “It’s been a long road back to enjoying life.”

Then, when cancer claimed the life of Tanya’s aunt, Tanya took on the responsibility of caring for her aunt’s two teenage children as well.

“We were basically a house of widows and orphans,” Tanya said.

Fortunately Tanya found out about Grace Institute’s new program for female veterans and their families.  The program, supported in part by the Clinton Global Initiative, is designed to hone the work skills of this underserved population and help them find work.

“Our commitment to helping veterans, never ends” says Jolene Varley Handy, a Senior Director at Catholic Charities affiliate Grace Institute, “because their commitment to our country never ends.”

Grace Institute, an affiliate of Catholic Charities, has been providing tuition-free job training skills for women in New York City for more than 100 years.  Its new program builds on this success, working with military spouses and family members to assist with the transition to life off the base. The program includes intensive computer, business writing and career development classes.  It prepares students for interviews and draws on its extensive lists of employer contacts to arrange meetings and help the students find work.

Tanya landed a job as soon as she graduated.  She now works as a case manager with Catholic Charities.  Her specialty is eviction prevention.

“It’s great to assist people with empowering themselves,” she said.  “I know the feeling from both ends.”

 

If you are a female veteran or family member and would like to take advantage of this tuition-free program:

If you are a New York City employer seeking trained, responsible staff:

Congratulations to WCBS Radio Women’s Achievement Award Winner from Catholic Charities Affiliate Grace Institute

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

By Alice Kenny

Congratulations to Jolene Varley Handy, WCBS Radio Women’s Achievement Award Winner for her work at Grace Institute, a Catholic Charities affiliate that helps women become self-sufficient through job training, skills and career assistance.

Handpicked  from hundreds of nominees, Ms. Handy was chosen based on the leadership, influence and dedication she demonstrates and shares with Tri-State area businesses and communities.  WCBS said they were particularly impressed by Ms. Handy and Grace Institute’s commitment to serving women in need, as well as partnering with the Clinton Global Initiative to serve female veterans.

Looking for help kick starting your career?

Grace Institute offers

  • Tuition-free, practical job training programs for women
  • Valuable, up-to-date office, computer, and business skills
  • Career advice and job placement assistance to help you land a good job with benefits

Click here to learn more.

Listen to her interview on WCBS.