Irvine nonprofit rebuilds career center lost in fire while helping clients get back in the workforce virtually

Career development center, Working Wardrobes, lost everything in a recent fire, but they continue to helping people reboot their lives - virtually.
IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- A local nonprofit career center that lost everything in a fire is still helping people find jobs through a new online workshop.

2020 has been a tough year for everyone, including Working Wardrobes. In February a fire gutted their warehouse. And now, the pandemic has the nonprofit career development organization scrambling to help the newly unemployed.

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"We continue to work with clients, we couldn't abandon them. We had to continue our services and move to a virtual platform," said Mary Ann Profeta, chief program officer with Working Wardrobes.

Like so many others, counselors are working from home. As Working Wardrobes offers free workshops online, one of the first things they're telling clients is: "It's time to re-examine your employment goals."

"It's an interesting time, isn't it? That we now have a chance to be of choice and to really re-think who we are and what we want to do with our lives. And so, we're here to help" said Jerri Rose, founder/CEO of Working Wardrobes.

Working Wardrobes even wants job seekers to relax a little bit. One of the classes they're offering is yoga.

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"Looking for any job is stressful and now we have all these barriers that are coming into play, so we're trying to address all of that," said Profeta.

And while the fire destroyed business suits for clients, they promise that will be back too.

"We hope that we'll be up-and running with our donation in June, and we'd like to be move in our new center in July," said Rose.

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