When preparing to enter the job market, it pays to Dress for Success.

A new program established by the Career Services office and Alumni Association at Missouri Southern – in conjunction with Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Network – will help students on that front by providing professional clothing that they may not be able to afford on their own.

Dress for Success will help outfit students for job interviews and the upcoming Career Fair.

Dress for Success will help outfit students for job interviews and the upcoming Career Fair.

From Tuesday, Feb. 17, to Friday, Feb. 27, community members will be able make clothing donations at the following locations:

  • Southwest Missouri Bank, 1000 E. 32nd
  • Commerce Bank, 211 Main St.
  • Community Bank & Trust, 3131 E. Seventh St.
  • Hometown Bank, 3016 McClelland Blvd.
  • Arvest Bank, 2023 E. 32nd
  • Mid-Missouri Bank, 3435 E. Seventh St.
  • Pinnacle Bank, 2433 S. Range Line Road
  • United Missouri Bank, 329 S. Range Line Road

Donations will also be accepted from Monday, March 9, to Friday, March 13, on campus at the Ralph L. Gray Alumni Center.

Volunteer professional shoppers will be available to assist students in selecting clothing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, in Connor Ballroom on the third floor of Billingsly Student Center. They will help students select clothing, give feedback and create interview-appropriate outfits.

“We know that getting clothing for the job market can be strenuous for students. They don’t have access to clothing and we know there are a lot of community members that have clothing sitting in their closet that would help students out,” said Nicole Brown, director of Career Services at Missouri Southern. “This is a way that community members can give back to our students and help them prepare for the job market.”

Items being collected include suits, dress shirts, dress pants, skirts, sweaters, dress shoes, ties and belts. Extra-large and plus-size items are especially needed, said Brown. Monetary donations are equally encouraged and can be directed to the Alumni Association’s Dress for Success Fund.

Any leftover clothes will be donated to Joplin and Carthage Bright Futures, which are starting a professional clothing program for high-school students.

Missouri Southern students will be able to put the clothing to use during the MSSU Spring Career Fair, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, in the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center.