Mission and History

Career Gear is a non-profit organization that builds strong families and communities by empowering low-income men to overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. We promote the economic independence of low-income men by providing financial literacy training, a network of support, professional attire, career development tools, job-readiness and essential life-skills training that help men enter the workforce, stay employed and become role models and mentors to their families and communities.

Career Gear’s story began in 1999 when Gary Field, a former director of services for the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and David Woolard, a Broadway costume designer, realized there was a need to reach men who were underserved by existing organizations and agencies. The immediate need was something as straightforward as providing a business suit.

Today providing suits for a job interview is just the first step. Career Gear has grown into a multidimensional nonprofit serving the needs of its participants through three distinct and congruent programs: The Job Readiness Program, The Professional Development Series and MAST, a mentoring program.

Career Gear continues to work in partnership with job-training programs and community based organizations to provide low cost, high impact solutions that complement community based organizations. It is because of our mission- old and new- that we have helped over 35,000 men who are low income move from poverty to self-sufficiency.