Gary Field, LCSW
Fifteen years ago, Gary fit the profile of many of Career Gear’s clients – unemployed, recovering substance abuser, having just completed a job readiness program. He scraped together $50, bought a used suit for his interviews and successfully landed a job. Within five years, he completed his undergraduate studies, received a Master’s degree in social work and set about the business of helping men in similar positions get and keep satisfying jobs.
Prior to founding Career Gear, Gary worked as the Director of Services at the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, NYC, with formerly homeless mentally ill adults. As a psychiatric social worker. Gary earned a B.A. with distinction and an M.S.W. from New York University and an L.C.S.W. from the state of New York.
Alison Nager, MFA
Alison is responsible for raising money to support the general operating costs and the programs at Career Gear so that we can continue to provide our valuable services free of charge to those in need. She writes grant proposals for federal, state, city, corporate and foundation funds and is also responsible for researching new avenues of funding. Additionally, Alison works with current funders, keeping them up to date on Career Gear’s program achievements, statistics and current funding outlook and provides subsequent reporting requirements. She also cultivates relationships with individual donors, manages the Annual Appeal as well as various special promotions throughout the year including cause marketing campaigns aimed at increasing Career Gears profile. She manages Career Gear’s financial documents and all incoming contributions.
Alison started her career at Amnesty International where she worked on fundraising and media coordination for the Human Rights Now! world tour. She later went to NBC, starting as a Page and later worked as a Production Coordinator in the news division. Alison went on to develop film and TV projects for a small Los Angeles based film company and ran the talent management company Ellin Management before becoming a professional actress herself. She is a member of both the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity Association. Alison holds a BA in American Studies from Brandeis University and a Masters Degree in Fine Arts from the Actors Studio at the New School University. She is a member of Women in Development.
Oscar Prado, LMSW
Director of Programs
Oscar is responsible for overseeing the growth and success of the Job Readiness Program, Professional Development Series and MAST Mentoring Program. He also manages the data analysis system for all activities and reports outcomes of current programming.
Oscar obtained his Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Vassar College. Oscar has extensive experience working with prison reentry and workforce development programs, as well as a passion for social change. He started his career working with the Osborne Association, offering family focused re-entry services to men coming home from prison, and proceeded to work with incarcerated fathers and mothers in Rikers Island, offering parenting classes, individual counseling, and job readiness workshops. More recently, he served as the Director of the Ready, Willing & Able Young Men’s Program, where he oversaw extensive services offered to homeless young adults.
Oscar applies his experience working with diverse populations and his knowledge of individual counseling, group facilitation, the intersection of social work and law, empowerment and program development to enhance the quality of services available by promoting self-sufficiency and recognizing the value of confidence and a supportive, trusting community.
Chris started working with Career Gear six years ago as a part-time suiting coordinator; he is now the Program Manager, responsible for all day-to-day operations related to the Job Readiness Program. In addition, Chris builds relationships with referral partners and donors, leads volunteer groups that help stabilize Career Gear’s inventory and assists at the evening Professional Development Series workshops.
Chris’ previous experience in the retail industry and in customer service positions, along with his education in Business Management and recent CASAC-T certification, allows him to relate to the clients at Career Gear – helping them face the difficult challenges they have in finding stable employment and making sure they are outfitted properly for their upcoming interviews.
Chris also serves on the Member Advisory Board for Chelton Loft.