Anoka-Hennepin Pathways program ‘Career Closet’ seeking donations
(02/15/19) Anoka-Hennepin’s Pathways program is seeking donations for its “Career Closet,” which helps give adult special education students hands-on skills and training in a retail setting.
Pathways is one of the district’s special education transition sites, and provides students ages 18 to 21 with opportunities to develop independent and competitive work skills, as well as a chance to plan for a career.
Specifically, new and gently used business, business casual and special event clothing for teens and young adults in all sizes, is what’s needed most.
Donation times are 7 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., Monday through Friday when school is in session at the Career Closet location in the Coon Rapids Family Center Mall, 11224 Crooked Lake Blvd., NW, in Coon Rapids. The Career Closet also has a donation bin inside the mall.
More about the program
Paula Holden, the work experience and handicapped coordinator at Pathways, said the Career Closet allows students to practice basic work foundation skills and perform many basic retail duties. “Student trainees sort, tag and display donated items and assist student-shoppers to choose their free merchandise,” she said.
The “Introduction to Fashion” students create the visual merchandising in the Career Closet at Pathways and the Career Closet website. Both classes provide “personal shopper” services as needed. The “Introduction to Business” students design the visual advertising, store signage and product photography for the Career Closet. They also help maintain the website.
In addition, the Career Closet offers free interview, beginning work wardrobe and special event clothing for Anoka-Hennepin students in need, and for local unemployed and/or disabled veterans, active-duty personnel, and reservist and National Guard families, Holden said. “We also have a performance wear section for our middle school music students,” she said.