Dress to Succeed: Goodman Community Center Opens Free “Career Cabinet”

Professional attire can be expensive, and as Community Engagement Specialist at the Goodman Community Center, Shantrice Solis came up with the idea of ​​providing opportunities for success through access to high-quality professional apparel and accessories. . On June 13, Goodman hosted a special launch event for the free “Career Closet” which provides professional apparel to community members at a time when resources to access such apparel may be limited.

Solis told Madison365 that she hopes the event will benefit community members in the Atwood neighborhood and beyond Madison’s east side.

“I really hope it’s something that’s beneficial to people who are on the east side, like our residents on the east side, and also our teenagers in our Teen Works program across the street. [in the Goodman Brassworks Building,]said Solis, adding that the idea for the event started in January.

The Goodman Community Center’s focus on young people is important at this time of year when new high school graduates begin to seek their next step in life.

“I know a lot of them just graduated from high school,” Solis said. “So they have to make the transition from high school to adulthood. I want to be able to provide them with free outfits to wear to a job interview so they don’t have to worry about trying to figure out what to wear.

Rob Ringeisen, an image consultant with the Tom James Company, was also in the careers closet to give a presentation on interview strategies and the importance of professional attire in making a first impression. While the presentation and event focused on clothing, Solis is also looking for supplies in other aspects of interview preparation.

“I’m always looking for donations for shoes and accessories,” Solis said. “Right now we have a small amount of small personal care items, but I want to get more makeup and more stuff so people can look good, feel good, and be confident. I’m always on the lookout. looking for more clothes in a variety of sizes. It’s endless”

Beyond providing workwear and self-care products, Solis spoke about finding services to help community members achieve career success, especially for black and brown communities. She hopes they will be brought back to the Goodman Community Center to find more opportunities and be in the community.

“I really want this to become full career service here at Goodman,” Solis said. “I want to be able to provide help with resume writing, cover letters, even have a space where they can do some of their virtual interviews. Because now everything is online. I just really want to be able to support our community and grow it further so that we can fully support everyone so that in addition to clothes, they can also come here and get support.

A free Career Closet at the Goodman Community Center provides professional clothing to community members during a time when resources to access such clothing may be limited.
(Photos by David Dahmer)

The future may hold even more events as Solis and his colleagues at the Goodman Community Center strive to provide opportunities while reaching out to those who can lend a hand.

“I’m working on another event,” Solis said. “I’m hoping someone can come in and do some hair trends and manicures, just so people can come here, shop in our closet, and then get ready for their interviews.”

Those interested in donating professional attire, shoes and accessories to the “Career Closet” that are carefully used and clean can drop them off at Goodman Community Center Steelworks building at 149 Waubesa St.

Jill E. Washington