RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - An effort is underway to outfit men looking to re-enter the workforce with proper interview attire.
Men's Warehouse stores across the country will soon start collections for the 2nd annual National Suit Drive. Men's warehouse is doing this project in partnership with about 200 non-profit organizations, and one of those is Goodwill. Officials say this effort can truly make a difference in their clients lives.
Evidence of unemployment is all around us. Earlier this week, we attended a job fair with the State Fair of Virginia where hundreds of people turned out for the chance to land employment for that 11-day span. Those we spoke with say that's reality.
"The job market is unbelievably hard," said job seeker Ken Burt. "I have got over 150 resumes out country-wide."
With the job market hard already, imagine trying to re-enter the workforce without the proper clothes to interview in. That's exactly what the national suit drive is hoping to eliminate.
Men's warehouse will be collecting items throughout the month of September.
"They distribute them to non profit agencies such as Goodwill and then we give them to men who are looking for employment," said Monica Palmer, the project manager for Community Employment Centers.
Last year, about 125,000 professional items were gathered nationally during the inaugural suit drive. Organizers want to exceed that number this year and help more people find work in this economy.
"It's very important because when you have someone who is looking for employment, making that first impression is vital and so this has given us another resource to help them go on that interview feeling confident and looking good and making a good first impression," Palmer said.
You can drop off donations at any Men's Warehouse location. Items needed include gently used suits, dress shirts, sports coats, slacks, ties, belts and shoes.
Organizers hope you'll contribute.
"It's going to a good cause and really helping empower unemployed men," Palmer added.
Goodwill has another clothing drive going on right now to help outfit children in need with back to school clothing. So it really might just be the perfect time to clean out those closets and drop off a donation.