Dress For Success Sets Fall Job Readiness Program Schedule

Dress for Success Palm Beaches (DFSPB), the nonprofit with a mission to empower women to achieve economic independence, has set its fall schedule for job readiness programs.

Participants who complete these tuition-free programs are eligible to receive the free “suiting” benefits for which Dress for Success is globally known, which includes wardrobe consultation and appropriate head-to-toe apparel and accessories for a job interview. Upon landing a job, a full week’s workplace wardrobe is provided.

Next Step, for women ages 18 to 25, is a series of sessions conducted over a 10-week period that will begin on Friday, Sept. 13, focusing on building confidence and professionalism.

Cassondra Corbin-Thaddies, one of Palm Beach County’s leading educators, is the program facilitator, and she is joined by a group of volunteer mentors who represent a range of professions. The curriculum includes resume writing, interviewing and communication skills, and how to leverage social media in the job search process.

Next Step is designed primarily for young women who may be entering the workforce for the first time, especially those who are aging out of foster care or are at risk in some way. “Ultimately, we transform these young women by replacing their feelings of bewilderment and uncertainty with a strong sense of self-worth and confidence,” Corbin-Thaddies said.

Since Next Step was launched in 2013, 102 women have completed the program, with 65 percent of them directly securing employment. The classes are held at the Lake Worth campus of Palm Beach State College.

An offshoot for high school juniors and seniors, the Next Step Life Readiness Program is due to return in the coming months, with partner schools to be determined. A pilot program offered at John I. Leonard High School this past spring proved highly effective as 15 young women completed an eight-week training program scaled specifically for the needs of this younger generation.

Session topics include: how to look for a job, resume writing and effective job applications; networking and how to utilize resources in the community in a job search; preparing for an interview; setting short-term and long-term goals and time-management to reach those goals; money management and balancing a basic budget; and etiquette for professional and personal settings.

Students completing the program also are entitled to consult with a personal shopper at the DFSPB boutique who will help them select appropriate workplace attire.

For women 26 years and older, the 10-week fall session of New Directions begins Thursday, Oct. 3, with each three-hour class meeting at the Children’s Services Council in Boynton Beach. Combining classroom instruction with guest presenters, plus weekly one-on-one personalized mentoring with volunteers who are experienced in the business world, the program arms participants with all the requisite tools for finding a job, from crafting customized resumes to capitalizing on the latest social media platforms.

This seven-year-old program also boasts a strong track record, with 242 graduates and a 60 percent hiring success rate. Moreover, participants emerge with an increased level of self-worth and self-esteem. Alexandra Marcovitch, a certified life coach and behavioral analyst who originated New Directions for DFSPB, continues as facilitator.

To learn more about how to enroll or volunteer for these programs call (561) 249-3898.

For more information, visit https://palmbeaches.dressforsuccess.org.