published on September 15, 2016 - 6:30 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Dress for Success Worldwide announced plans Thursday to open a new affiliate location in Fresno.

The new local nonprofit organization will help low-income women prepare to enter the workforce by providing professional clothing and job readiness training such as resume preparation, mock interviews, career counseling and support groups. 

Baker Peterson Franklin, a Fresno accounting firm, is a founding sponsor of Dress for Success Fresno. 

Co-founders of the Fresno affiliate, Erin Goldfarb and Corinne Holland, are local residents who wanted to donate their own professional attire to underprivileged women seeking employment. After discovering that the community did not have an organization that served this population, they decided to start one.

The duo plans to partner with referral agencies that include local homeless shelters, domestic violence agencies and job training programs.

Once a client has a job interview scheduled, they are invited to visit the Dress for Success boutique and be fitted for a suit and prepare for the interview. Once the client secures employment, she can return to the boutique for a week’s worth of professional clothing.

All services are provided at no cost to the client. The organization will operate on support from donations and private funding.

“We’re thrilled to bring Dress for Success to Fresno and the Central Valley,” said Goldfarb, a CPA and partner at Baker Peterson Franklin.

“Due to the Valley’s high unemployment and poverty rates, there is a definite need for these services in our community,” Goldfarb added.

“Fresno is an overwhelmingly generous community as we have already learned in our planning process,” Holland said. “Baker Peterson Franklin has given us the foundation to launch, and many other local companies have already donated goods and services. We are so grateful for the help as we strive to truly make a difference in the lives of many women in the Central Valley.”

Dress for Success Fresno recently received 501(c)(3) status. And Goldfarb and Holland said their immediate needs are to raise funds and secure a retail location to serve as a boutique and storage facility for donated clothing. They are also seeking donations of computers, furniture, shelving, clothing racks and other retail display items and plan to host a grand opening this winter and begin serving clients within the next six months.

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