On this second day of HOPE Week, the Yankees are getting all dressed up. Derek Jeter, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hiroki Kuroda, Brian Roberts and Alfonso Soriano will recognize and honor a group call Career Gear by helping get the honorees fitted for new suits provided by DKNY. Tonight’s ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Gary Field, Executive Director and Founder of the organization. Here are the Career Gear details from the Yankees.
It has often been said that a great first impression is a lasting one. Nothing holds more true for Gary Field, Executive Director and founder of Career Gear, an organization that helps promote the economic independence of low-income men by providing financial literacy training, professional attire and career development tools that help them enter the workforce and become role models and mentors to their families and communities.
With the help of over 80 referral agencies in the New York City area, Career Gear has helped over 35,000 men transition from poverty to employment and financial self-sufficiency. Providing these men with a business suit is just the first step. Through weekly peer workshops, one-on-one mentoring and a supportive environment, clients make the connections and build the confidence to find employment and continue down the path of personal development.
“Our philosophy is that everyone deserves a second, third or fourth chance,” Field said. “Sometimes just a first chance is what they need. We help men redefine themselves by providing them with the tools to get where they want to go.”
The relationship that is formed between Career Gear and the men it serves is everlasting. All participants are invited to take part in job and life-readiness programs. The curriculum resembles a typical school semester. Classes take place from August through December and January through June, covering topics critical to professional and personal success. Diverse offerings include résumé writing, financial investment, social skills and family health.
Frequently, the same men that have reaped the benefits of Career Gear’s programs return to serve as mentors to first-time participants.
“What I want to do is make a difference in people’s lives,” Field said. “I would like to help pass the skills that I have learned to the next generation of people that are dedicated to helping our world move forward.”