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MONT ALT, PA (Sept. 18, 2019) — Penn State Mont Alto Career Services will hold its fourth annual Career Closet in the Wiestling Student Center from Sept. 24 to 26, offering free professional clothing to Mont Alto students for interviews, internships, and job placement. Last year 78 students took advantage of the opportunity, claiming 640 items, according to Patricia Gochenauer, Penn State Mont Alto Career Services counselor.

“Some students may not have what they need to present themselves in a professional manner to prospective employers,” said Gochenauer. “The Career Closet is a way to ensure that they have appropriate workplace attire at no cost.”

The event started in 2016 when Becky Starliper, a member of the 11/30 Network – a group of Franklin County young professionals – collected gently used clothing for use during a business fashion show. After the show was over, she wanted to donate it to young professionals in need. Gochenauer saw the opportunity to assist students who are unable to afford professional attire.

About 1,400 pieces of clothing were donated by the 11/30 Network and Mont Alto faculty and staff, and the community last year. Ulta Beauty Distribution Center in Chambersburg donated cosmetics.

“I think it is a great opportunity for students to come get clothes for interviews and professional attire,” said Physical Therapy Assistant student Brittany Leab. She took advantage of the Career Closet when she had interviews last year.

The Career Closet receives support and assistance from many student and staff volunteers.

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“I love helping students and this really helps make their day,” said Brandi Biesecker,a development assistant.

In addition to receiving professional clothing, students can submit applications for a chance to receive an Extreme Makeover: Professional Edition. The event is sponsored by Crown Beauty and Barber Lounge, GameFace Beauty, and the PSUMA Alumni Association Board. In October, applications will be reviewed. Two students will receive makeovers and wear their professional attire for a “reveal” during a THON fundraiser, Mr. Mont Alto Contest, in November.

Nothing is wasted. What can not be used is donated. Last year, residents at Waynesboros New Hope Shelter benefited when about 500 unclaimed items were given to that organization. The Career Closet kept 250 items for this year’s closet, according to Gochenauer.

For more information about next year’s event, contact Gochenauer at [email protected] or 717-749-6104.

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