Job hunting is extremely challenging for most people. However, it is even more demanding when a job applicant lacks confidence or is unable to present what is considered an acceptable business image for employment. Employers often make judgments about a candidate in seconds, and appearance plays a major role in securing employment, according to a Philadelphia-based organization that was created to help tackle this issue.
MenzFit provides career guidance, training, and career self-sufficiency resources and attire to participants seeking gainful employment and financial independence. AT&T recently teamed up with MenzFit to help the organization carry out its mission.
AT&T employees in greater Philadelphia collected new socks, ties, belts, cuff links and shoes, along with items for grooming kits including razors, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes, gel, shoe polish, soap, after shave, and similar products.
On Friday, February 21, 2020, the volunteers from AT&T packed those and other collected items into 30-day grooming kits, and announced a financial contribution, during a special event at MenzFit offices in Philadelphia.
"There is nothing more critical to a person’s self-esteem and sense of worth than work. I believe effective reintegration in the work force can create a systematic change by helping to break the cycle of poverty and distress that passes from generation to generation among Philadelphia’s underserved populations. Helping retuning citizens navigate through the work and life process is a core principal of MenzFit," says MenzFit founder, Rhonda Willingham.
The grooming kits will be presented to dozens of men who are graduating from MenzFit’s Work in Progress (WIP) project, a pilot program delivered at SCI-Phoenix. The weeks-long program, delivered to returning citizens prior to their release, is an innovative, organized process of learning and achievement that enables the individual to think, behave, take action, and control work and decision making in a professional, fun environment. The WIP project combines the essence of study through leadership, discipline, time management, comradery and teamwork. As part of MenzFit, the men will also receive a week’s worth of professional interview and work attire.
AT&T’s relationship with MenzFit developed as part of a project called Believe PhillySM, which combines the commitment of employees and resources from the company to make a positive impact in the community, according to Joseph Divis, AT&T’s assistant vice president for External Affairs.
“Rhonda and her team identified a tremendous need to help men get back on track, prepare for jobs and become self-sufficient. MenzFit is doing great work, and our Philadelphia area team jumped at the chance to lend a hand,” said Divis.
AT&T also contributed $10,000 to the organization.
Last year, as part of Believe PhillySM, AT&T also supported a local group called One Day At A Time (ODAAT), which is dedicated to serving low-income and homeless men and women and their families in the Philadelphia area who are in recovery from addiction.