Thursday, July 2, 2009

Featured in Volunteer Vancouver's New Book

Volunteer Vancouver recently launched their new book, A People Lens: 101 Ways to Move Your Organization Forward, which has an article featuring Dress for Success® Vancouver. If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this wonderful book please visit Volunteer Vancouver and don't forget to check our their new blog!

The full text article featuring Dress for Success® Vancouver is available below. This text was provided courtesy of Volunteer Vancouver.

D a v e M a c d o n a l d a n d L o r e t t a C e l l a

Roles: Job Search Trainers,
Dress for Success Vancouver

By Suzanne Westover

At West Pacific Consulting Group (WPCG), Dave Macdonald,
a certified management accountant, administers the company’s
Corporate Responsibility program with a team of inspired
employees. The initiative has blossomed as employees became
excited about donating their skills as well as their time.

Dress for Success promotes the independence of economically
disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a
network of support, and the career development tools they
require to thrive in both work and life. Pairing up with them
seemed like the perfect match.

“At its core, recruitment is people management,” Dave says.
“By partnering with Dress for Success Vancouver, we needed to
relate to a different group of people—in this instance, women
who’d been marginalized in some way though addiction,
immigration or abuse. We volunteered our services to support
them through the process of job hunting.”

WPCG focused on creating a workshop with the core message
that seeking employment must be treated as a fulltime job.
The WPCG team met with the leadership at Dress for Success
Vancouver to hammer out expectations.

“This was a very important step,” says Dave. “It allowed us to
have a serious conversation about timelines and realistic goals.
Through open communication, Dress for Success Vancouver
was able to ensure that we did not want for any resources
that might be reasonably available, and that our objectives
were understood. This type of workshop was new for us,
but it was also new for them. We came from really separate
worlds. Corporate environments are often insulated from the
challenges of the marginalized.”

“We contacted Loretta Cella, a certified life coach and youth
advocate, and asked her to bring her 10 years of experience
in dealing with young, marginalized women to the table,”
explains Dave. Loretta readily agreed to view the first
workshop and work with WPCG to hone their delivery.

As a result of Loretta’s invaluable advice, WPCG employees
have been able to fine tune their workshops, which have
continued to evolve. “We get better with each workshop,
and so we’re able to contribute more each time. This is an
incredible motivator that keeps our staff engaged.”

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