City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Working It

The Local Organization Making Career Success “En Vogue”

Article by Frank Cassidy

Photography by Megan Connelly and Steven Paul

Originally published in Centerville Lifestyle

Most of us don’t really think about it, but the greatest barrier to employment often can be an interview outfit. In 1998, a group of 13 local women realized that they could assist by providing clothing and coaching to help those in need get and keep a job. 

Clothes That Work is a nonprofit organization providing professional clothing, image counseling and training for job seekers in the Miami Valley. Additionally the organization conducts educational workshops to improve interview skills and teach appropriate professional behavior, to meet employers’ expectations.

To date Clothes That Work has helped over 30,000 men, women and independent teens. “Clothes That Work started out as women helping women; but in 2005, we also started serving men. Now men are 53% of the clients we serve. We are one of the few places that serves men in this way,” Cindy Garner, executive director, said. She also noted that the organization’s clients are appreciative of the care and service that its volunteers provide. “It takes seven seconds to make an impression on a potential employer. A few years ago, one client attended a job fair for Fuyao. We provided an interview outfit and coaching tips for the interview process. There were 200 people in line the next day; but he’d been coached, had confidence and looked great. So they pulled him out of line and gave him an interview right away, and he got the job! He asked, ‘Why me?’ They said it was because he was the only person who took the time and cared enough about the job to dress for it. That’s why we do what we do!”

Clothes That Work is driven by volunteers. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has lost many volunteers. “We need more volunteers, to continue to make a difference in the lives of our clients and the Miami Valley community,” Garner said. Right now the organization is looking to fill many volunteer positions, including client coaches, workshop facilitators, inventory managers and boutique sales. Anyone interested can visit the organization’s website ( to learn more.  

A program vital to funding and forwarding the Clothes That Work mission—to clothe, educate and empower individuals to prepare them for employment success—is the Men At Work campaign. Men At Work is an online competition featuring local businessmen and community leaders who are raising funds for Clothes That Work. Twenty-six role models share their stories and their professional images for three weeks, as they campaign for votes at $5 each, which are used as donations to the cause. 

To learn more about Clothes That Work, make a financial donation, learn about volunteer opportunities, sign up for a workshop or find a location to drop off donations of gently used interview appropriate clothing—including plus size women’s clothing, ladies’ shoes, ladies’ white blouses, men’s white dress shirts, men’s dress shoes, men’s suits, men’s white undershirts, solid black polos, solid colored scrubs and personal travel size toiletries—please call (937) 222-3778 or visit