Dress for Success

May 31, 2009 7:30:25 AM PDT
There is some free help out there for women looking to get hired in this tough economy. Dress for Success in New York City offers women interview suits, a boost of confidence and career development. CEO Joi Gordon and group member Addie Adams joined us with how you can get involved. · What is Dress for Success?
DFS is a nonprofit organization founded 12 years ago in NYC to help women transition into the workforce. We started with giving them an interview suit and boost of confidence, but quickly realized that we also needed to provide career development and employment retention tools.

· Has Dress for Success been affected by the economy?
Because our message resonated with so many and our programs affect entire families, we have been able to gain new supporters in this economy. Our volunteer pool has increased by nearly 60% in the past year. Women who have been laid off are now utilizing their skills by helping our women throughout the week. The added volunteers and their experience has helped greatly since the women who walk through our doors are now competing for fewer positions with more candidates-we need to ensure that they are prepared to compete for the limited jobs.

· How do you help women?
Most women come through our doors when they need an interview suit. They then receive a week's worth of clothing once they become employed. The cornerstone of our organization is our career development and employment retention programs.
Women that become employed are encouraged to join the Professional Women's Group (PWG) a networking association for Dress for Success for the women we serve, which provides valuable skill-building information, while creating a safe environment to network with other professionals.

· What is the Something To Share campaign?
It was created in 2007 on the premise that everyone has something to share: talent, time, resources.
Tommy Hilfiger designed this year's campaign icons: silk scarf and necktie.
All proceeds benefit Dress for Success.

· How can we help?
Donate your nearly-new interview suit or career-appropriate separates.
Volunteer your time as a personal shopper, PWG speaker or mentor.
Purchase our Something To Share signature scarf or necktie (more info at dressforsuccess.org and tommyhilfiger.com).

Other interesting facts:
· Dress for Success was founded in New York City in 1997.
· There are now more than 90 Dress for Success affiliates in nine countries.
· More than 500,000 women have been served by Dress for Success.
· Women come to Dress for Success when they're ready to enter or re-enter the workforce after overcoming adversity.
· Self-sufficiency for Dress for Success clients begins with the donated interview suit-giving the woman appropriate clothing and confidence to land the job.
· Women are invited back to Dress for Success after accepting the job offer for a week's worth of career separate.s
· Once they are employed, the women are encouraged to join the Professional Women's Group (PWG) an international networking association of Dress for Success that was created to promote employment retention and career advancement by providing valuable skill-building information, while creating a safe environment to network with other professional.s
· All programs and services are free to Dress for Success clients.
· Dress for Success services are needed now more than ever before; the women who come to DFS are now competing for fewer jobs with more-experienced professionals.

For more information, visit www.dressforsuccess.org.