Helping women ‘Dress for Success’

By Erin Perkins -

OHIO VALLEY — The Mason County Family Resource Network (FRN) recently met for its regularly scheduled meeting, discussing an upcoming addition to the Dress for Success River Cities program, which benefits people in Mason and Gallia counties.

Bree Ramey, WorkForce West Virginia Career Center, explained she recently attended a Dress for Success River Cities meeting and learned the program is planning on incorporating a mobile boutique.

She said the plan is for the mobile boutique is to visit the 13 counties the program serves within West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky. The counties include Cabell, Mason, Lincoln, Wayne and Putnam in West Virginia; Gallia, Lawrence, and Scioto in Ohio; Boyd, Carter, Elliot, Greenup and Lawrence in Kentucky.

Tentatively, the mobile boutique should be coming to Mason County the third Thursday in September, shared Ramey. She said the mobile boutique will be set up inside the WorkForce West Virginia Career Center located on Main Street in Point Pleasant when it visits Mason County.

Ramey explained Dress for Success is a program designed for women in need of appropriate work attire for the job search process, the interview process, and once a job is obtained, five days of work appropriate separates. She commented the attire chosen is for any sort of job, ranging from casual to business casual to business formal.

According to the program’s information packet, the mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing them with a network of support, professional attire, and the developmental tools to help them thrive in work and in life.

Dress for Success will help clients with professional tools such as assistance with creating a resume, assistance with writing a cover letter, and providing the client with a mock interview. The clients are also extended an invitation to join the Professional Women’s Group.

For women to be eligible for the program: they must have an interview scheduled for a job, internship, or class requirement; they must have recently obtained a new job; they must be moving from underemployment to a new position of increased capacity; they must be disadvantaged in some way.

The clients must be referred by a partner agency within that client’s serving area. Once a referral form is received, the client is contacted and scheduled for a job search, interview, or employment suiting. Ramey explained when an agency is filling out the referral packet, they can indicate what the client prefers to wear such as certain styles and colors.

Examples of partnering agencies for West Virginia and Ohio include: Branches Domestic Violence Shelter, Huntington City Mission, Harmony House, Contact Rape Crisis Center, WV DHHR (Lincoln, Cabell, Teays Valley, and Wayne counties), Huntington Junior College, Information and Referral, Manpower, Marshall University Career Services, MCTC, Prestera Center, Workforce Investment Board of West Virginia, West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services, Golden Girls, Inc., and Goodwill Industries of KYOWVA Area. Inc. in West Virginia; Collins Career Center, Ohio University Southern, and Workforce Development Resources Center in Ohio.

Dress for Success also accepts donations of work appropriate clothing, shoes, and accessories at its boutique in Huntington located at 541 Ninth Street. Donations are accepted Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

By Erin Perkins

Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.

Erin Perkins is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.