New York, NY (March 8, 2013): The Walmart Foundation is providing additional funding for Dress for Success Worldwide by awarding over $2.5 million to the organization's "Going Places Network by Walmart" (GPN). The funding will support six 12-week sessions of the GPN over the next two years. This new grant is an extension of the initial $2 million award by the Walmart Foundation that launched the GPN in 2011. To date, 2,200 women have completed the GPN, with 41% of the women securing employment upon completion of the 12-week program.
In its inaugural year, the GPN was activated within 60 Dress for Success affiliates across the United States. This specially-designed program helps unemployed and underemployed Dress for Success clients gain professional skills, accelerate their job searches and build confidence through weekly training sessions, one-on-one career coaching and networking in a supportive environment. The new grant seeks to expand the range of services and work supports including, improving access to childcare, enhanced labor market research and partnerships with job referral agencies to better match GPN clients with employers looking to fill positions.
"With the advent of the Going Places Network by Walmart, Dress for Success has had an opportunity to chip away at the unemployment rate plaguing the nation," said Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide. "Through the generosity of the Walmart Foundation, Dress for Success has solidified its position as a leader in job preparation and career advancement, as clients can now participate in a comprehensive suite of services for every phase of their professional lives, starting with the job search and leading to sustained employment and self-sufficiency."
"The Walmart Foundation's support of the Going Places Network helps women receive the career guidance and job preparation services they need to re-enter the workforce knowing they possess skills that are in demand, and career aspirations they've learned how to achieve," says Michelle Gilliard, senior director of the Walmart Foundation. "GPN helps women provide for their families by putting them on the path to career success. We are proud of the women who are regaining control of their lives through this program, and are excited to be in partnership with Dress for Success, which is providing the services and resources that help women live better."
The program supports the goals of Walmart's Global Women's Economic Empowerment Initiative, one of which is to help 200,000 U.S. women from low-income households access to job training, education, career counseling, and mentoring to increase their employment opportunities. More information on this initiative can be found at corporate.walmart.com/women.
Walmart has a longstanding history with Dress for Success Worldwide. The retailer has supported Dress for Success Worldwide with in-kind donations of clothing, volunteer projects and event sponsorships. In response to the organization's need for plus-size clothing, Walmart manufactured and donated thousands of plus-size suits under the George label for Dress for Success. The company has also supported the Success Summit, the leadership conference for Dress for Success clients who are members of the organization's Professional Women's Group. In the past, fifty of Walmart's senior female executives were matched with Dress for Success clients participating in the Success Summit for eight months of one-on-one mentoring.
About Philanthropy at Walmart
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are committed to helping people live better through philanthropic efforts. By operating globally and giving back locally, Walmart is uniquely positioned to address the needs of the communities it serves and make a significant social impact within its core areas of giving: Hunger Relief and Nutrition, Sustainability, Career Opportunity and Women's Economic Empowerment. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation are leading the fight against hunger in the United States with a $2 billion commitment through 2015. Walmart has donated more than 900 million meals to those in need across the country. To learn more about Walmart's giving, visit foundation.walmart.com.