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Students dress for success free of charge, thanks to student initiative and community support

The Business Closet is officially open! This student-led initiative provides second-hand business attire to CMU and WCCC students, free of charge, so they can dress for success as they prepare for and begin new careers. Students first brought the idea to CMU Career Services at the end of the Spring 2022 semester. In just a few short months, overwhelming support from the community brought the idea to life.

On September 1, CMU Career Services with the Palisade, Grand Junction, Fruita Area and Western Colorado Latino Chambers of Commerce co-hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the closet, with a twist. The ribbon was replaced with an old shoelace, symbolizing the big steps from college to career that students will proudly take in their new outfits. The event was held in front of Dominguez Hall and was well attended by 50 students, faculty, staff, local media and community business leaders.

In conjunction with the ribbon cutting and CMU's annual Career Fair, September 1 was also the first official clothing drive for the business which easily doubled the over 200 pieces donated by Heirlooms for Hospice, Mor Storage, and CMU trustees prior to the official launch. "The outpouring of donations during our Fill the Rack Drive was incredible. The boxes began filling up with blazers, high heels, full suits and dresses before the shoestrings were even cut," said Career Services Director Sadye Saad. "We have the most amazing community! It's not just clothes — they are giving our students the opportunity to walk confidently into classroom presentations, interviews and ultimately the workforce."

The founding sponsors — Cigna, Timberline Bank and Dalby, Wendland & Co., P.C. — each donated $3,000 to help with start-up costs.

The inaugural location of the Business Closet is Dominguez Hall, room 101C. Eventually, The Business Closet will expand to include racks in various departments on both CMU and WCCC's campuses. The goal is to include not only business attire, but also industry specific garments like scrubs for medical programs, flame resistant jackets and cotton caps for welders and coveralls for mechanics.

The community is encouraged to support this ongoing initiative by donating gently used business clothing, shoes and accessories. For more information visit


Written by Hannah Odneal