Dress-for-success professional women's clothing will be distributed to low-income single mothers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 18 at the Salt Lake Skills Center, 1040 W. Seventh South.
More than 4,000 new and used clothing items will be available, the results of a "Women Helping Wom-en" work clothing drive held last month by Salt Lake employees and Pyke Manufacturing Co.Jean Pierce, a counselor at the Skills Center, said the purpose of the clothing project is to help single mothers become self-sufficient. While a variety of job-training programs are available, many women lack appropriate clothing.
"Single parents see their own needs as least important when weighed against basic survival necessities such as food, shelter and utilities, and the needs of their children," Pierce said. "I shopped with one single mother for an outfit to wear to an upcoming interview who hadn't purchased anything new for herself in five years. No matter how good an employee you might make, if you don't present yourself appropriately, the chances of securing a job are minimal."
The need for professional clothing is so great that the Skills Center began lending clothes to women on the day of a job interview.
"It's scary when families dissolve and many homemakers become the sole breadwinners. Along with good skill training, these women really need professional attire to boost their confidence and help them to be accepted by employers. By looking better, they feel better, and therefore, they present themselves more positively," she said.
The Skills Center is a division of Salt Lake Community College, which provides vocational training programs for non-traditional students. The clothing distribution will be held in the cafeteria, on the south side of the building.