NEW YORK'S BEST-KEPT SECRET: FREE JOB TRAINING FOR WOMEN OF COLOR
Nonprofit kicks off nine-month training for 2005-06 in computers, business writing, and other office skills.
Tuition-free training for the underserved minority, unemployed and immigrant women of New York.
New York, NY - Grace Institute, located on New York's East Side, is now recruiting students for its 2005-06 class, with open houses scheduled for Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31. The nine-month program offers classes that meet 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday, September through May. The coursework covers computer skills, typing, business English, business math, and job interview strategies.
Women who complete the program then receive internships and job placement assistance. These are jobs with a future: Salaries typically start at $30,000 and up; and most come with full benefits packages, including health insurance and tuition reimbursement, for college or advanced training.
The results are inspiring. Consider just a few of our graduates:
* Carla: Before coming to Grace Institute this past year, Carla, 35, fled domestic abuse to live in a shelter with her four children. At Grace, Carla not only secured the job training she needed but made Dean's List and parlayed her musical talent into founding and directing a women's chorus, which sang proudly at graduation. Today, Carla is an administrative assistant with a solid salary and benefits, at a leading Manhattan law firm.
* Audrey: Audrey, 34, held one low-paying child care job after another in New York after arriving from Grenada in 1995. A single mother with a three-year-old daughter, Audrey worked hard at Grace to make Dean's List and to secure an internship at a prestigious Manhattan law firm. In September, she will learn whether her internship will become permanent employment.
* Nancy: Nancy, 36, has been struggling to learn English since immigrating from China in 1995. She followed her husband Jie to Queens, where the couple live with their three children, including a severely handicapped daughter, age 11. Nancy, however, has worked hard to secure services for her daughter and to make Dean's List at Grace. She is now an administrative assistant in the social services division of a social services agency in Chinatown, where she hopes to be a social worker herself some day.
What is Grace Institute's background?
The program (www.graceinstitute.org) was founded by the shipping magnate W.R. Grace over 100 years ago and has educated more than 100,000 women. In recent years that education has concentrated on administrative assistant skills, enabling 200 or so day school graduates each June to jump from dead-end, minimum-wage retail and fast-food jobs to jobs with advancement potential (Another 100 or so students are already-employed night students). Requirements for admission include a commitment to attend the nine-month program, basic English fluency, a green card or citizenship, and a high school diploma or G.E.D.
What kinds of women has Grace served in the past?
* Women who are out of work, on unemployment or public assistance, or stuck in dead-end jobs
* Women immigrants trying to realize the American dream
* Women who face one personal crisis after another, from domestic abuse and family illness to homelessness-and even a precarious existence in city shelters
* Women starting new careers or even new lives-after divorce or after their children have grown and left home
Applicants are encouraged to attend an open house. There they will interview with the Grace staff and take a brief test to determine skill levels. The Wednesday open houses will be: Aug. 3 (12-6 p.m.); Aug. 10 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), Aug. 17 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.), Aug. 24 (4-6 p.m.), and Aug. 31 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.).
Grace is located at 1233 Second Avenue, at 64th Street. Staffers can be reached at 212-832-7605 for further questions about the program.
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