Wallace Community College opened its Career Closet at its Dothan and Eufaula Spark campuses on Wednesday for students needing professional attire for interviews.
Students are allowed to grab up to three items at a time and keep them.
Joe Johnson, the director of workforce development at Wallace-Dothan, said he was inspired to give students an advantage after graduating from their programs.
“They go through their coursework and they get the knowledge and the skills. Obviously, to be successful, that last piece is that first interview,” he said. “Some of our students, because of different circumstances, may not have the means to have that professional attire or something as nice as they would like to wear to that first interview.”
The Career Closet will be open twice in the fall and spring semesters and once during the summer.
Clothes were donated by to the small closet inside Gary Hall by faculty and staff and members of the community.
“It’s very much been embraced by the community. We have had an outpouring of donations from the community, along with our faculty and staff,” Johnson said.
While the closet is quite small, there is another room that acts as a holding area filled with boxes of clothes requiring sorting.
“We’re hoping that those individuals who need this allows them to get their career started, because obviously that’s key,” Johnson said.
Many students came to the grand opening on Dothan’s campus Wednesday to peruse the closet and many grabbed several items of clothing.
Haylee Blount, Brittany Nolin, and Angel Thomas were hoping that a professional wardrobe would help them get a job upon graduating Wallace’s GED program.
“It’s an opportunity,” Nolin said. “It gives you a chance to succeed where you might not have had a chance before.”
The Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce attended the event in support of the initiative that many believe will help build the Wiregrass’ workforce.
“We have all the positions to fill here in our community and there are not enough people, especially skilled people who can fill those positions,” said Hayden Camp, the chamber’s director of membership. “To have people prepared and dressed well and just ready to go job interviews and actually get the job and get placed is actually one of our No. 1 priorities.”
Those wishing to donate to the closets can contact Amber Dunlap at the Dothan campus or Terri Ricks at the Eufaula campus.