When it comes to landing a job, first impressions matter, and dressing the part can be a challenge to some, but the latest New Yorker of the Week is helping job seekers dress for success. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.
A new suit can provide more than just style, especially for those looking for a job.
"It's one thing for you to learn something. It's another thing for you to give back and for people that don't have access to things, such as myself, that becomes a blessing," says Eric Dorns, who received clothing from "That Suits You." "That makes me want to turn away and do the same thing. It's a positive push in the right direction."
A positive push coming from Gerard Kersey. He co-founded "That Suits You," a nonprofit that gives free suits, shirts, and ties to New Yorkers who complete job-training programs.
As a manager at the DMV, Gerard witnessed many job seekers at a disadvantage.
"I would see men come in, and they weren't dressed properly, and sometimes, that was just because they didn't have the money or the resources to buy the necessary suits," Gerard says. "They were good quality candidates, but they didn't have the attire for the interview, which kind of hurt them."
So, he's giving them the missing piece that fits. Since 2013, Gerard has donated almost 400 suits to job training programs in the five boroughs.
"We're not talking about the Easter suit. We're talking about the suit that is beneficial, that's essential, that is perfect for the person to walk into an interview and feel empowered that they will get the job," says Shermira Busby-Forrester, director of the City Tech Workforce Development Center.
Gerard hands out more than just articles of clothing. He offers hard-earned advice and, perhaps more importantly, hope.
"Letting them know that, 'Hey, exude that confidence,'" says Jamael Thompson, a co-founder of "That Suits You." "'You have that suit, that shirt, that tie. You have the job training that your organization provided you. Apply these different skill sets that they have given you. Change your demeanor. Change your perception about yourself."
"I've been unemployed. I know how it is when you, you cant really do the things that you want to do. You lack confidence. You're not as happy as you can be," Gerard says. "So to have someone come in, just help me out or assist, that's huge."
We agree. That's why Gerard Kersey is the latest New Yorker of the Week.
FOR MORE INFORMATION