Volunteer Emela Halilovic sorts through a rack of clothing to find the right top for one of the Dress for Success clients during the organization’s mobile career transformation center stop at the Carrollton campus of the Jefferson Community and Technical College on Thursday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Volunteer Emela Halilovic sorts through a rack of clothing to find the right top for one of the Dress for Success clients during the organization’s mobile career transformation center stop at the Carrollton campus of the Jefferson Community and Technical College on Thursday. (Staff photo by Ken Ritchie/kritchie@madisoncourier.com)
Nearly two dozen women received an outfit makeover when a Cincinnati organization helped them "dress for success" on Thursday.

The Dress for Success Mobile Career Transformation Center event held in Carrollton allowed 20 women to meet with a "personal shopper" in a room filled with professional business attire. Their goal was to give them an outfit to be worn to job interviews.

The event at Jefferson Community and Technical College provided each client with an interview outfit that included a top, jacket, slacks or skirt, shoes, jewelry and other accessories, mobile career center coordinator Sarah Buckley said.

"It's a head-to-toe look," she said.

Mobile volunteers not only helped clients find professional clothing, but they also helped clients understand the correct fit needed and how to ease the transition from unemployment to employment.

"It really is transformational," Buckley said.

The new professional attire helps to empower clients before heading off to interview for a new job opportunity, she said.

"It says, 'I'm professional. I'm employable,'" Buckley said of the professional attire.

Dress for Success Cincinnati worked with local community organizations to identify women who could benefit from the program, Buckley said. The goal for the day was for each woman to be able to leave the event and be ready to go directly to an interview.

After being identified as a client for the program, women are invited to attend networking or interview prep events hosted by the organization.

Once clients find employment, the women are eligible to receive additional outfits from the organization.

"They are in the system for life, so to speak," Buckley said of clients.

The Cincinnati organization first began helping women find appropriate interview clothing during "Suiting Days" years ago before the organization expanded to include other career events and opportunities.

While Thursday's event was the first in Carrollton, Buckley hopes to return to the area for future events.

"Our whole mission is to meet the women where they are," Buckley said, noting transportation or the idea of traveling into the downtown area can be daunting for people.

The organization just recently expanded its areas to counties outside of the immediate Cincinnati area, Buckley said. The Mobile Career Transformation Center now serves female clients within a 90-minute drive of Cincinnati, and the Carrollton stop represents the organization's continued expansion of outreach.



More information about the organization and upcoming events may be found online at www.dfscincy.org.