Dress for Success

Dress For Success Felicia Jones English T/R 2:00 Mike Wilson Ivy Tech Community College June 29th 2010 Finding a job is probably one of the hardest and most time consuming tasks in life. The second hardest is being a female and trying to find a suit to wear to the interview you just landed and your low on cash. Thats where Dress For Success comes in. Dress For Success is an International non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women and is located in 85 cities across the U. S. , Canada, the U. K. , the Netherlands and New Zealand.

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Dress For Success basically solves the problem that confronts disadvantage women trying to enter the workforce: Without a job, how can you afford a suit? But without a suit, how can you get a job? Each Dress For Success client recieves one suit when she has a job interview and additional apparel, up to a week worth of clothing, when she becomes employed. Since Dress For Success has many affiliates, clients are also supplied, when available, other pieces of clothing and accessories such as shoes, scarves, jewerly and other interview-appropriate items.

When choosing a place to write about, my ultimate choice was to write about the MLK Multi- Service Center. Dress For Success was my second choice because I didnt think i would get a whole three pages out of a place that just gave out suits ( little did I know about this place). Then I spoke to my friend Kelly Hunter who coincedently had just went and recieved clothes from Dress For Success. She said that she needed clothes for her interview so she went to Dress For Success and she stated,’That from the moment I stepped through the door the service was excellent.

Not only did I recieve clothes but I also got help in revising and updating my resume. ’’ Kelly got help with her resume through the Career Center at Dress For Success. The Career Center offers career guidance and technology skills that support women in their job searches. If a client is looking for a job or seeking a new or different career, they can come to the Career Center and use the internet-accesible computer lab with job placement software. They can also et help with job search assistance; resume and cover-letter-writing lessons; and both interview preparation and mock interviews. What I like the most about this orginization is not just the friendly and supportive staff or the euphoric atmosphere you feel when you enter the building but the exstensive outreach they provide. In the Professional Womens Group(PWG),clients network with other women who have recently made the same transition into the workforce. The PWG monthly meetings cover a variety of subjects and activities that promote professional development.

Each regulary scheduled meeting consists of two key elements: an expert expert speaker leading a discussion and a networking period. Finanacial literacy workshops are also a component of PWG. They teach low-income women how to become economically independent by creating fiscal goals, constructing budgets and investing in their futures. PWG members also have access to product discounts and professional resources to help them futher their proffesisonal growth and strengths.

I had the chance to sit down with Andrea Cowley, Dress For Sucesses associate director, to get some input on why she enjoys the job she does and her reasons for why Dress For Success has become so successful. When I met with Andrea the first thing she asked me was what I knew about Dress For Success and I told her the only real information I knew was from the website so she decided to give me a tour of the company. All I can say is that this was one amazing place. Along the walls are photos of partcipants of the PWG group who still participate and mentor new members. The idea is show how people from all different backgrounds and all walks of life can come together and help someone who’s been in the same situation as they were at one point in time. ’ Andrea explained that most of the clients that come here usually come from the Salvation Army or are post incarcerated. ‘Because so many women were coming from being incarcerated, Dress For Success started the Post Incarceration Program. Basically clients come in and we start helping them as much as possible to get on their feet so we don’t just give out suits we go the whole way out. We continued on with the tour and entered the area that clients come to pick out clothes. When a client comes to Dress For Success they are automatically paired with a mentor and that mentor is the one who walks and gives their opion on what a client should wear based on the type of interview the client has. ‘A lot of our clients go into the hospitality business so we keep black pants and white shirts for when they start working so that way they don’t have to order them out the catalog and pay money out their own pocket. ’ +

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