Beyond all the rumination around advancing procurement techniques and supply chain optimization strategies, Spend Matters readers and all businesspeople are facing another stark reality: In Chicago alone, the unemployment rate hovers at nine percent -- and is disproportionately affecting men. According to The New York Times, hiring managers are looking for applicants who are already currently employed. As one in five men is currently unemployed in the workforce, the cards seem a bit stacked. However, for the month of August, those with jobs and working wardrobes have the opportunity to change the lives of disadvantaged men in their own city.
The National Suit Drive, held at more than 900 Men's Wearhouse stores nationwide, collects suits, shirts, jackets, ties, belts, and shoes and distributes them to local charities that share the vision of helping those facing barriers to employment.
All donations will be distributed by more than 150 nonprofits nationwide that help people who are transitioning back into the workforce. By partnering with nonprofits on the local level, National Suit Drive ensures that donations will benefit the communities from which they came. This year, Men's Wearhouse hopes to collect more than 100,000 articles of clothing.
The power of a good suit should not be underestimated. According to the nationwide Men's Wearhouse Well-Dressed Men Survey conducted earlier this year by Kelton Research, a full 75% of Americans believe well-dressed men are more successful in the workplace than their casual colleagues. 32% of men actually believe they would earn more money if only they dressed better than they currently do. Even though we know that many procurement cultures have gone business casual, we should never underestimate the importance of the first impression a job candidate makes regardless of the position they're applying for.
That unwanted suit in your closet could be another man's ticket to getting back in the workforce. Heck, it might also play a small role in lowering debt-driving Federal spending on unemployment, Medicaid and related programs. And most important, it may help give a person back their self-esteem. Suits donated to the National Suit Drive in Chicago will go to the Safer Foundation, the Cara Program, the Inner Voice, Inc., and the Springfield Urban League, Inc.
- Julie Town, Director of Corporate Giving, Men's Warehouse