Clothes That Work will take its service mobile via bus

A local nonprofit plans to purchase a bus to bring clothes and services to residents, to help them land and keep jobs. And the group is expected to receive a $200,000 grant from Montgomery County to help make it happen.

Since the 1990s, Clothes That Work has helped people transitioning from public assistance to employment by providing professional work attire for interviews. The group expanded its services over the last few years and wants to continue to grow, said executive director Cindy Garner.

The bus will help eliminate travel barriers that some under-resourced clients have, Garner said.

“Clothes That Work is responding to the changes of behavior that have been caused by COVID and our internal data is showing that mobilizing our services will be the most effective way to reach our clients and garner more program participation,” Garner said. “(We’re) taking our program from being inside a brick-and-mortar building and into the community where the people actually live and work.”

The non-profit is launching a $1 million capital campaign to help get the bus on the road. The bus is expected to work alongside the Montgomery County Mobile Workforce Unit as it travels to recruiting and hiring events and will be a big benefit, Montgomery County Administrator Michael Colbert said.

“We can have the clothing for most of the employer interviews and have a mobile operation right on site,” he said.

Colbert said the addition of the bus will strengthen the existing Montgomery County Workforce Mobile Unit operation and help improve people’s chances of landing jobs. He also said the money from the county will be from an economic development grant.

Clothes That Work began offering workshops and training at the Dayton Metro Library in recent years, Garner said, and found that participation skyrocketed. The hope is the bus will allow the agency to travel to more areas and reach more people.

“It will financially benefit them and their families and it will also benefit employers and the economic health of our region, Garner said.

The bus will primarily travel around Montgomery County and serve the Dayton region, Garner said. The bus will also sometimes travel outside the county to surrounding areas to help support their workforce initiatives.

About the Author