Suiting up for self sufficiency - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

By Meghan Sparks

Suiting up for self sufficiency

ROCHESTER, MN (FOX 47) -- Minnesota's unemployment rate has risen to 5.9 percent, just below the national rate.  It's no secret that it's getting harder to find a job, but some local organizations are doing what they can to make people look their best for potential employers.

"It fits nice and it's cheap."

Ken Thompson is looking for a job, and wants to look the part.

He was one of many who came to the Salvation Army Thrift Store for the Suits to Self Sufficiency event, which was held to help people seeking employment find appropriate professional attire.

Hundreds of items were donated from people in the Rochester community and many of the items are going to good use.

"It's overwhelming that people would do this and it's good for the community to help out unfortunate people like myself," says Thompson.

Now it's getting even harder to find a job. The national unemployment rate rose to 6.5 percent in October and just recently the University of Minnesota imposed a systemwide "hiring pause".

Ed Duda of Workforce Development was also on hand at the event. He says while it might be tough for some to find work, people need to learn to market themselves and convince the employer that they should have no fear in hiring them.

"The individual that can go out and eliminate fear in the mind of the employer is likely to get more job offers," says Duda.

"I am looking for a new job, something to rebuild my resume."

Ashley Reed is a second year student at RCTC and wants to break into the hotel industry.

Reed says, "Now I have to pay my own bills, my rent, my electric, um, internet bills."

She found her entire ensemble at the event, hair and makeup included.

"Not too flashy, not too conservative. It looks like I'm going to get a job," says Reed.

She's got the right attitude, now she's ready to land the job.

Ed Duda of Workforce Development also says if you're looking for employment, take advantage of every opportunity available.

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