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March 19, 2001
Charity Expanding to Meet Increasing Needs of Working Poor
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ring the economic downturn could lead to layoffs and a job shortage, not-for-profit organization Dress for Success announced it will expand to 10 new North American locations.

Dress for Success, which specializes in job interview preparation and has a national job retention program, reports it has expanded by 15 percent this year. The organization reports it is trying to reach as many new markets as possible at a time when women making low wages may need help the most.

"We're responding to the economic reality. We know our clients may be hit hard by this slowdown," says founder and Executive Director Nancy Lublin, "so we're trying to get support systems in place now.

Following welfare reform and shrinking unemployment benefits, the safety nets of yesteryear are no longer in place, Lublin pointed out. Private charities like Dress for Success are bracing themselves for the impact of low-income workers let go.

The new Dress for Success locations include Toronto, Boston, Las Vegas, and Little Rock. The organization has expanded to 70 total markets in four years.

Dress for Success operates a job retention program, The Professional Women's Group, in 39 of those markets, but the change in the economy has inspired the organization expand that more quickly too. It expects all 70 markets to focus on job retention within the year.

The organization made its announcement as it prepared to celebrate Women's History Month with its annual Clean Your Closet Week campaign this week. The group expects the campaign to gather thousands of suits so that the organization can reach its goal of assisting 30,000 this year alone.

For more information visit the Dress for Success Web site.

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