Imagine a place where every person in transition can obtain the confidence they need in order to achieve the next level of gainful employment.
That place is Career Wardrobe.
Career Wardrobe is a nonprofit social enterprise that uses clothing and professional development to empower unemployed individuals to work. The Boutique is the cornerstone of our program and provides professional clothing to individuals in transition. Job seekers can shop at no cost with a referral or for a small fee if they are not receiving government assistance. In Philadelphia, our Boutique is also open to public where savvy shoppers can find great deals on women’s designer and contemporary clothing with all sales supporting our services.
in 2016, we expanded to serve people throughout the region, opening boutique in Bucks and Delaware Counties. We also became the sole provider of PA WORKWEAR programs to provide professional clothing to people on public assistance in the region by providing over site of partners serving Chester, Berks, and Montgomery Counties.
Although most people are referred to Career Wardrobe from nonprofits and government agencies, our Open Access program opens our wardrobe to those who are not connected to the social service system to shop directly at The Wardrobe Boutique on a sliding scare.
Career Wardrobe recognizes that everyone may need help at some point in their working lives, and we endeavor to expand and open our programming to meet the needs of all of our community. In 2015, we opened our doors to men with our Make It Work for Men program, providing our signature dressing services to men in order to assist them in presenting a positive first impression.
We aim to expand our reach throughout Philadelphia to individuals in need of our services, but not affiliated with our traditional programs. These services are geared to those coming back to a workforce after incarceration, rehabilitation, or sometimes, raising children. Our Open Access program helps to open our doors to these individuals, regardless of their economic status.
Programs That Improve Job Preparedness
Career Wardrobe strives to break the cycle of poverty by providing support that encourages employment and personal responsibility.
In 2015, 67% of women responding to our follow-up surveys within 6 months of their appointments reported gaining employment and discontinuing their reliance on cash assistance. The impact on our economy cannot be understated as it is a $19 million savings for taxpayers in public assistance for benefits alone.
- 91% of our educational clients report being more prepared for their job search and more confident in their abilities
- 90% of clients feel an increase in confidence and professionalism
- 50% of our educational clients have a larger employment rate and they are 16% more likely to be employed in a job classified above entry level
Clients who complete our full Gateway to Success Job Readiness Course and take part in our Blitz Basics Job Readiness Workshop are eligible to receive our Professional Development Certificate which commemorates our clients dedication to personal growth and achievement. These programs are offered as a fee-for-service programming to provide specific skills employees need to move forward.