Career Gear

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on the Career Gear organization.

The Typical American Man
Career Gear for the Unemployed

The Typical American Man

Source: Esquire, 3/02

Career Gear for the Unemployed

Let's face it: getting a good job is never easy. But for low-income men and men struggling to get off public assistance, the job hunt is even tougher. Without a suit, these men don't stand a chance of landing an interview. But how can a man spend money on business clothes when he can't afford the basic necessities for his family? That's where we come in…

Career Gear is a nonprofit organization that fills the gap between job-training programs and employment by providing men with the interview clothing, motivation and follow-up support that helps them get jobs and keep jobs.

 Career Gear was founded in New York City in 1998 by Gary Field, a social worker, and David Woolard, a costume designer. Thanks to the success of the program and due to the incredible demand for its services, Career Gear has expanded nationally.

How does it work? A variety of job-training programs refer men to Career Gear. When a client arrives, he is greeted by a personal shopper who helps him put together his entire interview outfit. He gets grooming tips and coaching on his upcoming interview. Each man leaves ready to meet prospective employers not only looking his best, but also radiating the self-confidence needed to get the job.

More than a suit: New clothes are just the beginning. Career Gear also strives to give these men the confidence and support they need to see themselves as successful individuals. The Career Gear Alumni Program brings former clients together to discuss issues regarding job retention. Alumni meetings feature guest speakers who cover topics such as budgeting money and time, stress management and job advancement.

Career Gear screens applicants from fifteen different job-training programs in New York City (the national headquaters), Michigan (Flint & Ann Arbor), Cleveland, Ohio, Miami, Florida, Southwestern Illinois and St. Louis, Minneapolis / St. Paul and Washington, D.C. -- men who have been homeless or in prison or in rehab and who are preparing themselves to enter or reenter the workplace -- and then puts together wardrobes for these men to wear on job interviews.

Want to help? There are many ways you can support Career Gear's efforts:

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