Those interviewing for work know full-well that appearance matters. But it gets tricky if you lack the budget to don a new outfit.
That's where Hauppauge-based CareerCouture Boutique can help.
Backed by a partnership with Suffolk County along with the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Consumer Affairs and EAC Network, CareerCouture Boutique gives eligible job seekers a chance to get free professional attire for their next job interview.
The service fits within the mission of Suffolk County's Labor Department, which aims to assist residents looking for new jobs or changing careers.
The boutique opened its doors to the public last week, with a traditional ribbon-cutting.
“We are proud to be able to add this service to what we offer residents looking for work or new careers,” County Executive Steve Bellone said.
“We are happy to partner with EAC Network, a not-for-profit human service agency, which assists the county with collecting donations for the boutique and has established partnerships with retail clothing suppliers,” he added.
The boutique is designed to serve both males and females, giving them access to suits, dresses, shirts, blouses, jewelry, accessories and shoes to ensure complete attire for job interviews. Historically, many not-for-profits who offer clothing assistance cater mostly to women seeking employment, according to a news release.
Thomas Baxter, an Army Reserves sergeant and client of the center, who lives in Central Islip, gave the clothing assistance high marks.
“This means a lot to me and I appreciate the service Suffolk County has provided,” he said.
Baxter, who received several medals while serving two tours in Iraq and patrolling Ground Zero after the terror attacks, is now looking for work in the health field.
While at the boutique last week, he traded in his camouflage uniform for a business suit and modeled the new outfit.
A dry cleaner dry-cleaned all of the clothes at a steep discount to the Labor Department. Sports Clips Haircuts is providing 100 free haircuts for men through August.
To be eligible for clothing from Career Couture Boutique, residents must be registered with the One Stop Employment Center and have a scheduled interview. All customers will receive a suit with accessories.
The boutique is located at Suffolk County’s One-Stop Employment Center in Hauppauge, a cutting-edge endeavor which brings together both employers and job seekers, providing a one-stop approach to job search. It is staffed with employment professionals from several private and public entities, and functions as a full service human resources facility. The center supplies the job-seeking customer with all the tools necessary for a self-directed or staff-assisted job search, and provides employers with facilities and workforce support.