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The GPN funding supports six 12-week sessions of the program over the next two years at 60 Dress for Success affiliates. This specially-designed program helps unemployed and underemployed Dress for Success clients gain professional skills, accelerate their job searches and build confidence through weekly training sessions, one-on-one career coaching and networking in a supportive environment.
The GPN launched in 2011 as a result of an initial $2 million grant from the Walmart Foundation. To date, 4,500 women have completed the GPN nationally, with about 41 percent of the women securing employment upon completion of the 12-week program.
“Our suiting program helps every Dress for Success woman look the part for job interview, but our Career Centers help her become the part,” said Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide. “With the support of the Walmart Foundation, ‘Paving the Way Forward’ will allow us to assist even more women become confident professionals.”
“The Walmart Foundation is pleased to expand our support of Career Centers at Dress for Success,” said Crosby Cromwell, Senior Manager, Walmart Foundation. “These centers help women build the confidence to succeed in their careers and in life, which is at the cornerstone of Walmart’s efforts in Women’s Economic Empowerment.”
In addition to Paving the Way Forward and the GPN, Walmart has a longstanding history with Dress for Success Worldwide. The retailer has supported Dress for Success Worldwide with in-kind donations of clothing, volunteer projects and event sponsorships. In response to the organization’s need for plus-size clothing, Walmart manufactured and donated thousands of plus-size suits under the George label for Dress for Success.
The company has also supported the Success Summit, the leadership conference for Dress for Success clients who are members of the organization’s Professional Women’s Group. Fifty of Walmart’s senior female executives have also worked with Dress for Success clients participating in the Success Summit for eight months of one-on-one coaching as part of the Leader to LeadHER program.
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