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Dressing for Success: CLIMB’s Inside-Out Approach to Job Training

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(Pictured above: Laramie CLIMB participants shop at the Clothing Cottage Thrift Boutique in preparation for job interviews during an Office Careers Training program.)

“There’s something special about a woman who feels good in her clothes,” says Chanda Ziegler, who manages Laramie’s Clothing Cottage Thrift Boutique.

This confidence is especially important for single mothers starting new professional careers in order to support their families. CLIMB Wyoming’s programs incorporate shopping at the Clothing Cottage and many other consignment stores throughout the state because getting ready for a job is about feeling good inside and out.

Katie Hogarty, CLIMB’s Laramie program director, says these excursions are often the first time the women have a chance to step away from their stressful lives as single mothers and focus on themselves. For many, shopping for clothes is out of the question on a limited budget.

“There’s a magic to shopping for new clothes that’s hard to explain,” says Hogarty. “It’s something that boosts their confidence and has sometimes been a barrier to their success at work in the past.”

Ziegler agrees, saying, “It is so rewarding to see CLIMB participants walk in the store. With the special attention the CLIMB team gives them in picking out clothing, they all have a glow.”

CLIMB’s life skills classes discuss as a group topics like what it means to “dress for success” and how to best express your own style while also dressing appropriately for your work environment.

As one recent graduate said, “I want to be me but I want a job, too.”

CLIMB helps participants navigate through these work dress code conversation to set them up for future career success.

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