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Helping women re-enter workforce – Dress for Success Lackawanna

Helping women re-enter workforce – Dress for Success Lackawanna

March is Women’s History Month, and today we’re spotlighting an organization that gives women the confidence to get back into the workforce.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Wendy Jones from Dickson City is one of the millions of women who either left the workforce or changed jobs during the pandemic.

“I was in health care. Then COVID came and I decided I no longer wanted to be in health care, and I needed a career change,” Jones said.

So she turned to an organization in Lackawanna County that’s been helping women make career moves since 1999.

“That’s mainly what their focus is — to empower women to go out into the workplace and to realize that there are going to be obstacles but to take risks, and to not undervalue your worth,” Jones said.

You know the saying “look good, feel good?” Well, as the name implies, that’s the whole idea behind Dress for Success Lackawanna.

The worldwide nonprofit started with the goal of providing women with the professional attire they need to jump-start a new career.

“She walks into that interview or into that job knowing that she is put on the same level as the next person that’s going in there,” said executive director Mary Ellen Iezzi.

“They come here with nothing, and I mean nothing. And you build up their esteem and everything, and they walk out a different person,” said board member Diane Calabro.

Because the last thing they want women to worry about before a job interview is what they’re going to wear. That’s why the racks and racks of clothing here are just the beginning.

“We do one-on-one career coaching and counseling. We can review resumes, cover letters. We can help them apply for jobs,” Iezzi said.

That’s why Wendy Jones is here. On this day, she and her career coach were discussing tips for conflict resolution.

“If you’re too aggressive, then you’re kind of against the person, and if you’re too passive then you’re against yourself. So you have to have that balance,” Jones said, as an example.

Dress for Success Lackawanna is primarily a referral-based program, but women who are having trouble securing employment are welcome to contact them as well.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube page.