Macy’s Professionals Teach Fashion Sense at DCTC

Burnsville store helping dislocated workers through Project Work/Plan

Macy’s fashion authorities are taking style to the workforce through Project Work/Plan, a new program at Dakota County Technical College that provides resources for individuals seeking fresh career or educational opportunities. Each week for the next seven weeks, a team from Macy’s Burnsville will be visiting the DCTC Rosemount campus to participate in the program, helping dislocated workers look their best while navigating the job market.

Founded in 1858, the Macy’s department store chain has annual revenues approaching $30 billion and more than 180,000 employees. The Macy’s brand is iconic worldwide and people everywhere watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Paradein New York City.

Last Thursday, April 30, from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Dakota Room, Beth Hanson, Macy’s Burnsville store manager, Ann-Marie Varpness, the location’s general service manager, and Blanca Montoya, a Clinique consultant, delivered a seminar called “Dressing for Your Next Job.”

Beth Hanson, Macy's Burnsville Store Manager

Beth Hanson, Macy

Beth Hanson opened the Macy’s seminar at DCTC by emphasizing the importance of wardrobe in the interview process. She said that every interviewee needs to spruce up for the occasion and wear attire suitable for a job three levels above the one for which they are applying.

Ann-Marie Varpness handled wardrobe lessons, using live models to demonstrate outfits for both women and men that would send the right message to prospective employers. Swapping out different items of apparel, Varpness explained how just the right touch of color or flash in otherwise conservative apparel could spell the difference between being forgettable or making a positive and lasting impact.

Ann-Marie Varpness, Macy's Burnsville General Service Manager, with Mike Opp, DCTC Dean of Technical Careers and Transportation

Ann-Marie Varpness, Macy

Dressed in a signature white lab coat, Blanca Montoya also used a live model when she demonstrated the proper way to apply makeup for an interview. A specialist in custom cosmetics, skin care and fragrances, Montoya showed how makeup can be used to convey professionalism and style simultaneously.

Blanca Montoya, Macy's Burnsville Clinique Consultant

Blanca Montoya, Macy

Sharon LaComb, DCTC vice president of institutional advancement, praised the seminar as unique, pointing out that Macy’s is a high-range department store and as such is superbly positioned to offer timely, expert and above all effective advice about clothing and style as it pertains to the job search.

“The team from Macy’s Burnsville recognizes the importance of how we present ourselves in a professional setting,” LaComb said. “Making the right impression isn’t just about résumés and portfolios. It’s also about showing that you understand the culture of the company or organization that is conducting your job interview.”

LaComb went on to say that Project Work/Plan, which began April 6, 2009, has been a resounding success. Designed to assist dislocated and underemployed workers as well as college students just entering the job market, Project Work/Plan is built on partnerships between DCTC and several community and state organizations.

Individuals may visit the central commons of the DCTC Rosemount campus any Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 2–4 p.m. to network with other professionals, obtain career search advice and explore a centralized reservoir of career advancement options along with other resources.

For more information about Project Work/Plan, please contact:

Macy’s will be back on campus Wednesday, May 6, 2:30–4 p.m. in the Dakota Room (Room 1-520B) for a seminar entitled “Professional Workshop.”
Beth Hanson, Ann-Marie Varpness, Sherralyn Cox, DCTC Dean of Design and HSS, Liliya Vickers, Blanca Montoya

Beth Hanson, Ann-Marie Varpness, Sherralyn Cox, DCTC Dean of Design and HSS, Liliya Vickers, Blanca Montoya