Style Me Hired: For Some Local Women, a Stylish Path to EmploymentBy Erin Kane |
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In a few weeks, 100 unemployed women sporting freshly cut and colored hairstyles and polished résumés will flock to an Old City hotel for some red-carpet treatment and a confidence boost.
Vanloads of pre-selected professional wear and accessories will meet them, along with a team of stylists to apply the finishing touches before sending them off to find jobs.
After watching clients in his Folsom, Pa. salon suffer through the economic slump, Voci wanted to lift their spirits in the way he knows best — by making them look good.
“I saw the effect on ladies who have been my clients for years. It was getting pricey for them to come in here, so I said, ‘Let me create a platform for these ladies,” Voci explained. Style Me Hired is the result — a practical mix of job preparation and interviewing skills with a sizeable dose of beauty and fun.
In two short years, Style Me Hired has secured the support of partners like Career Wardrobe, EDSI, and Omni Hotels. Dozens of local salon owners have also signed on, providing makeovers to participants who live in their communities.
“Style Me Hired is so in line with our mission,” said Sheri Cole, the Executive Director at Career Wardrobe, a nonprofit that focuses on building the self-esteem and preparedness of women entering the workforce.
Hundreds of women applied to participate in Style Me Hired, and most have been out of work for some time. Others are single mothers or never finished college.
“During a job search, your job is to sell yourself,” said Cole. But the longer it takes to find employment, the harder it is keep a positive outlook.
“For me, the most important element of a job search is attitude. A new look elevates a woman’s confidence and preparedness,” she said.
Career Wardrobe is supplying all of the clothing along with résumé reviews, job readiness skills, and on-site coaching. Volunteers are needed to support Style Me Hired event activities.
“It’s an amazing day and I feel so privileged to be able to bring this to women in Philadelphia. Luckily we have the capacity and infrastructure to realize [Marc’s] vision,” Cole said.
A new look for a promising opportunity
This year, Style Me Hired is also teaming up with EDSI, a workforce development group with strong local connections and a pipeline to Philadelphia-area businesses. More than a dozen employers will be on-hand to meet and possibly hire participants.
“There are a lot of people who need these types of services,” said Roe Falcone, a Regional Director of Operations at EDSI. Prior to Style Me Hired, Falcone worked with Voci on a smaller-scale initiative to help displaced oil refinery workers in Delaware County.
“You could see their happiness and how confident they felt — it was a different level of confidence,” she recalled. EDSI is expecting similar results from Style Me Hired.
Betting that a polished set of job readiness skills and a standout look are pathways to employment, Style Me Hired may soon be replicated in Boston. “I’m a small business owner with a small storefront trying to take over the world,” Voci said.
Until then, many local women will receive the star treatment, inching closer — perhaps in a sensible pump — to employment.
Style Me Hired
When: Monday, September 24 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Where: Omni Independence Park Hotel, 401 Chestnut Street
More Info: To volunteer, email email@example.com