Clothes program helps Sacramento applicants dress for success

Sacramento BeeJuly 13, 2009 

By 10 a.m. Thursday at the Sacramento Food Bank, the line snaked from the door out onto Third Avenue in Oak Park. It was the typical mix of young mothers with toddlers in tow, seniors and the down and out.

But among the nearly 50 standing in line at the food bank's clothes program was a growing new category: job seekers, hoping to find free workplace attire.

For cash-strapped job hunters, access to professional, interview-ready clothing can mean the difference between making the right impression and staying unemployed.

LaCole Oakley was among those in line Thursday. Two months into her job search, the Sacramentan is interviewing for positions in customer service and collections. First, though, she needs a new outfit.

"You've got to present yourself – it's an office environment," she said.

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