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The $500,000 in grants will be distributed among 15 Dress for Success affiliates to either establish or enhance their Career Centers, the dedicated workspaces located at the primary suiting location where Dress for Success clients receive career guidance. This new initiative was announced in a special ceremony at the Walmart Northwest Arkansas LPGA Championship.
Dress for Success is popularly known for providing professional attire to women-in-need for job interviews, but the organization addresses every phase of a woman’s career—from being unemployed and searching, to recently employed and adjusting, to gainfully employed and succeeding.
It is the career development and employment retention programs and services that are the cornerstone of Dress for Success, which each woman experiences in the Career Center the very first day she walks through the doors of the nonprofit.
These grants to Dress for Success support the goals of Walmart’s and the Walmart Foundation’s Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative, one of which is to help 200,000 U.S. women from low-income households gain access to job training, education, career counseling, and mentoring to increase their employment opportunities. More information on this initiative can be found at corporate.walmart.com/wo?men.
Paving the Way Forward will increase efficiencies within, and develop the long-term sustainability of, the Career Center services through a three-pronged approach:
Acquire, Improve, Update. This capacity-building program will enable Dress for Success affiliates to make any necessary improvements to their Career Centers, such as acquiring the appropriate tools and physical resources to ensure that its Career Center is running at optimum ability, such as computers, printers and software—or even designating a physical space for those affiliates who are in the process of establishing a Career Center.
Increase Womanpower Hours. Affiliates will be able to increase the hours of current part-time staff members or to engage the services of a consultant. This will help to provide a structured learning environment for Dress for Success clients hoping to conduct self-directed job searches; receive one-on-one support drafting résumés and cover letters; practice interview skills; and access online professional skills training courses. With this additional staffing, the Career Center will be able to implement two workshops selected from the Going Places Network by Walmart curriculum.
Leadership Lessons. Paving the Way Forward will support new affiliates attending our annual Affiliate Leadership Conference. The lessons learned during this three day workshop retreat will assist the leaders to more effectively and efficiently serve the women of their respective communities.
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