April 29, 2020
Columbus, Ohio – In response to the quickly evolving workforce needs and the changing demands for talent in central Ohio, Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services (FCDJFS), CoverMyMeds, and Dress for Success went to school. Together, they launched a new kind of self-sufficiency and empowerment training for young women in Reynoldsburg City Schools and Columbus City Schools called Boss Girl.
This pilot provides a blend of mentoring and professional skills training, along with Dress for Success’ signature suiting services, with the goal of preparing girls for leadership and employment opportunities.
“Our Franklin County Commissioners and our Agency believe that a young woman’s race, gender, religion, ZIP code or her parents’ income shouldn’t dictate her destiny,” FCDJFS Director, Joy Bivens said. “Boss Girl will equip these young women with the skills they need to pursue their goals, from college to career.”
The Franklin County Commissioners approved $70,000 in funding through FCDJFS to support the program. The pilot supports the vision of the Commissioners’ Rise Together Blueprint, which calls for developing and expanding targeted high school mentoring programs.
The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and career development tools to help them thrive in work and life.
Dress for Success has been working with women across Franklin and every contiguous county for more than 12 years. While they have served young women ages 16-18 with their suiting program, they are breaking new ground with this collaboration to provide targeted programming to young women.
“Soft skills are fundamental to having a secure economic future and dramatically impact one’s overall job performance and career development,” said Angel Harris, Executive Director of Dress for Success. “Boss Girl is our newest workforce development effort, designed to move upstream. We are helping young women increase their social and self-awareness, make responsible decisions, and improve relationship-building techniques - skills that are needed now, more than ever.”
“Our contribution to the Boss Girl program is one of many ways CoverMyMeds is committed to supporting Columbus City Schools, its students and the community with ongoing career guidance and workforce readiness resources,” said Kate Bauer, Community Engagement Manager at CoverMyMeds. “Our employees are eager to continue a tradition of giving back to the community and investing in our neighbors by serving as mentors to positively impact students who participate in the program.”
The program is being offered in a virtual environment using the Mother Wit curriculum. It captures the attention of young women with various learning styles and those who live by technology and will pilot in Reynoldsburg High Schools, the Columbus Downtown High School, Briggs, and West High School in 2020. Dress for Success will also provide young women with the chance to connect with professional women who share their stories with the students. These “Boss Ladies” will have the opportunity to directly influence the young women with their stories of resilience that led them to be leaders in their industry.
The Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services provides timely public assistance benefits and builds community partnership through inclusion, responsiveness and innovation. Learn more at https://jfs.franklincountyohio.gov and follow FCDJFS on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.