UNION — They were mostly women, they began arriving 45 minutes early, and they left the SCWorks Union Office with armloads full of dresses, suits, blouses, pants, and children’s clothing.
The SCWorks Union Office on Main Street in downtown Union held a “Free Clothes Give-a-way!” Thursday with racks and boxes full of free clothing lining the sidewalk in front of the office and an adjacent storefront.
While it was scheduled to begin at 9 a.m., the give-a-way actually got under way before then as a growing number of people began arriving, waiting for the opportunity to get free clothing.
“We had one girl waiting around 8:15, sitting out there on the bench, waiting for us to open,” Union County Workforce Development Director Katherine Pendergrass said following the conclusion of the give-a-way Thursday afternoon. “Then we had more people arriving and so we just let them start before nine.”
Pendergrass said the give-a-way was a success with a large turnout of people looking to take advantage of the offer of free clothing.
“It went really well,” Pendergrass said. “We had mostly ladies who were grabbing up nice suits, dresses, pants, blouses, and clothes for their children. We had a few men come and they were able to pick out several shirts and pants.”
While the weather wasn’t always cooperative, Pendergrass said it failed to keep people away.
“The rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the people gathering the clothes,” Pendergrass said. “Event the brief shower didn’t stop the people from getting armloads of clothing.”
Pendergrass said Thursday’s event was part of the SCWorks Office’s efforts to provide the residents of Union County with the resources they need to get a job. One of those resources is its clothes closet which can provide job-seekers with clothing appropriate to wear while applying for a job and/or going to a job interview.
In promoting the Free Clothes Give-a-way! earlier this week, Pendergrass pointed out that all too often people applying for jobs and/or going to a job interview do not dress appropriately and this can hinder their ability to get a job. She pointed out that when someone applies for a job and especially if they go to a job interview, inappropriate dress can send a potential employer the message that the job-seeker is not really interested in being hired and so they rule them out for that job.
By dressing appropriately, however, Pendergrass said a job-seeker can make a positive impression on a potential employer who will take them more seriously, increasing their chances of getting hired. She said helping that job-seeker make that impression is why SCWorks has a clothes closet and makes its contents available to those looking for work with the goal of helping them get hired.
In addition, to its clothes closet, the SCWorks Office also provides job-seekers with training on what to do and not do when applying for a job and/or going on a job interview. It also provides them with understanding the importance of having a resume, what information should be included in it, and how to write a resume so that it will make a good impression on a potential employer.
SCWorks can also help people who are interested in going back to school to learn a new skill by providing them with financial assistance for courses in welding, CDL (Certified Driver’ License), and Mechatronics, as well as for medical degrees in various health care fields such as nursing, radiology, and respiratory therapy. The office also provides assistance for certified logistics and certified manufacturing production associate, both of which can be combined with forklift safety training certification.
To learn more about the services SCWorks provides, visit the SCWorks Union Office at 103 West Main Street, Union. The office is open Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m.
For more information about the training courses available through SCWorks see Talent Development Specialist Nikki Burgess.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.