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

The Business Closet is officially open! This student-led initiative provides secondhand business clothing to CMU and WCCC students, free of charge, so they can dress for success as they prepare for and start 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, the overwhelming support of the community made the idea a reality.

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

Along with CMU’s annual ribbon cutting and career show, September 1 was also the first official apparel campaign for the company that easily duplicated the more than 200 pieces donated by trustees of Heirlooms for Hospice, Mor Storage and CMU before the official launch. “The outpouring of donations during our Fill the Rack Drive campaign was incredible. Boxes started filling up with blazers, high heels, full suits and dresses before shoelaces were reduced,” said Sadye Saad, Director of Career Services . Community! It’s not just about clothes – they’re giving our students the opportunity to confidently walk into classroom presentations, interviews, and ultimately into the workforce.”

The founding sponsors (Cigna, Timberline Bank and Dalby, Wendland & Co., PC) donated $3,000 each 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 shelves in various departments on the CMU and WCCC campuses. The goal is to include not only business attire, but also industry-specific apparel such as 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 clothing, shoes, and business accessories. For more information, visit


Written by Hannah Odney