The Professional Men’s Group (PMG)

The PMG Project was created to expose MenzFit clients to various aspects of community life that they have likely never had the opportunity to learn. It is our assertion that once people have their hierarchical needs met with tools to handle their life challenges, a meaningful job to improve their sense of self worth, and are engaged in the business of living, exposure to art, culture, business and civic activities is the next step on improving their retention and employability. When lower-income people understand the society in which they live, they will become vested in its preservation and  committed to its improvement.

Mission

To educate, enhance and remedy the missed opportunity of cultural awareness, which ultimately leads to increased social capital for participants and the community at large.

Purpose

To introduces MenzFit professionals to social skills that will enable better understanding of networking and the connection of social activities to building better opportunities for promotion, better quality jobs, better families and better communities.

The PMG includes arts events such as guided museum visits, art performances, sporting activities, professional sporting events, introduction to social skills such as social etiquette and ballroom dancing, and visits to government and business institutions.

Membership Information

Criteria for Membership in PMG:

  • Must be employed at least six months (part-time employment accepted)
  • Must attend and complete MenzFit Workshop Series I & II
  • Must commit to annual dues of $100 (payable quarterly)
  • Must conduct oneself in a professional manner
  • Must commit to mentor at least 5 MenzFit clients per year
  • Must commit to serve as a volunteer at MenzFit

Benefits of Membership in PMG

  • Each member receives one business casual outfit (shirt, pair of slacks and tie) per year
  • Relationship and camaraderie building
  • Increasing professional skills for marketability
  • Expanding awareness of available career opportunities
  • Assisting with development of own professional networks through interaction with professional men
  • Assisting with becoming well-rounded citizens by encouraging participation in their community and the world at-large
  • Building leadership and teambuilding skills

Referral Partners

MenzFit partners with many local groups to enhance the quality and level of services offered to low-income men who are seeking empoyment in the Washington, DC and Philadelphia areas. Our referral agencies are job training programs, ex-offender programs, homeless shelters, substance abuse programs, welfare-to-work programs and other community organizations that provide workforce development services.

Upon completion of these programs, their case managers refer them to MenzFit for the finishing touches before heading to their interviews. Some need only our suiting services, while others need more intensive training on personal and professional presentation. Either way, our program is the link between training and working for the men we serve.

Washington, DC Referral Partners

  • Adams House
  • Arlington Employment Center
  • ARCH Training Center
  • Bailey’s Crossroads Community Shelter
  • Ballou S.T.A.Y High School
  • Benning Terrace Residential Council
  • Byte Back
  • Catholic Charities
  • Career Blazers
  • Career Development Services
  • Career Team
  • Choice Jobs Program
  • Community Academy
  • Community Connections
  • Community Council for the Homeless
  • Community Family Life Services
  • Community Empowerment Training Program
  • Community of Hope
  • CSOSA
  • Community Services Agency of Metro
  • Wash Council – AF-CI
  • Curtis & Associates
  • DADS program
  • DC Central Kitchen
  • DC Department of Employment Services
  • DC Department of Health & Human Services
  • Destination College Network
  • DHS Income Maintenance Administration
  • Development Corporation of Columbia Heights
  • Dinner Program for Homeless Women
  • East Capital Center for Change
  • East of the River Clergy Police Community Partnership
  • East of the River Job Program
  • EFFORTS Program
  • Emery Employment Services
  • Families Forward
  • Family Life Center Foundation
  • Family Medical Counseling Service
  • Family Resource Center
  • Federal Employment Program for
  • Montgomery County
  • Georgia Avenue Collaborative
  • Goodwill Industries of Greater Washington
  • Goodwill Industries, Northern Virginia
  • Hope Foundation
  • International Rescue Committee
  • JHP, Inc.
  • Jubilee Jobs
  • Kennedy Institute
  • Latin America Youth Center Youth Build Program
  • Marshall Heights Development Organization
  • Maryland Job Services
  • Maximus America
  • Men on the Move
  • Mental Health Association
  • Metro police Dept. Youth Violence Prevention
  • Montgomery County Department of Social Services
  • Montgomery Works Ex-Offender Program
  • National Economic Development Administrators
  • National Home Trust
  • National Housing Corp. Learning Center
  • National Practitioners Network for Father’s & families, Inc.
  • North Capital Collaborative
  • Outpatient Addition Services
  • Outcomes
  • Parent Watch, Inc.
  • Potomac Job Corps Center
  • Prince George’s Department of Social Services
  • Prince George’s County Workforce Services
  • Reintergrating Alternatives Personal Program
  • Rescue Workers
  • Salvation Army Harbor Light
  • Samaritan Inns 2 Day Intensive Recovery Program
  • So Others May Eat
  • Spirit of Faith Christian Center
  • STRIVE DC, Inc.
  • Technical Learning Center
  • The Carroll House
  • The Dwelling Place
  • The Greater Washington Urban League
  • The Green Door
  • The Phoenix House
  • The Pilgrim A.M.E. Job Connection
  • The Shaw Comprehensive Job Training Academy
  • Training Futures
  • TVC Training Center
  • United Communities Against Poverty, Inc.
  • United Planning Organization
  • US Vets
  • Veteran Affairs Medical Center
  • Workforce Organization Regional Collaborations

Philadelphia, PA Referral Partners

  • Act Now
  • Back to Society (BTS), Inc.
  • B-MOR Technologies
  • C.A.R.E. Ministries
  • Connection Training Services
  • Defining You
  • DeVry University
  • Educational Data Systems, Inc.
  • Federal Detention Center, Philadelphia
  • Horizon House
  • Impact Services Corporation
  • JEVS Human Services
  • Metropolitan Career Center
  • Nehemiah Community Development Corporation
  • Northeast EARN Center
  • Our Brother’s Place
  • Peace Not Guns
  • People for People, Inc.
  • People’s Emergency Center
  • Philadelphia Veteran’s Multi-Service and Education Center
  • PMHC Health Connection
  • Project HOME
  • Ready, Willing & Able
  • Resources for Human Development (RHD) Ridge Center
  • Ross EARN Center
  • Seeds for Needs, Inc.
  • State Representative Rosita C. Youngblood
  • State Senator Anthony Hardy Williams
  • The Mayor’s Office of Re-Entry for Ex-Offenders
  • The PA Prison Society
  • The Philadelphia Veteran’s Multi-Service and Education Center
  • The Unemployment Information Center
  • Transitional Work Corporation
  • Youth Emergency Service
  • Youth Service, Inc.

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Board of Directors

The MenzFit Board of Directors is a diverse group of members that represent various professional industries.

Each board member agrees to be an ambassador in the community for MenzFit. Their responsibilities include: fundraising, developing community partnerships, public relations and oversight of the program.

Board of Directors

    Bill Shipp, Chairman of the Board, VP Business Development, Wells Fargo

    Stephanie Phelps, VP, Blackbook & Marketing Rep, SerenaGroup

    Anthony Mills, Executive Vice President, Waytek

    Andrew Nelson, Cemetery Administrator, Department of Veteran Affairs

    Darren Johnson, CEO, United Healthcare Community Plan of Delaware

Advisory Board

    Mike Winsey, Principal, Mercer

    Avery Brown, Consultant

    Leon Harris, Anchor WJLA ABC 7

    Jimmy Sanders, Manager, Marriott Hotels

    Ashley Webb, Attorney, AllState Insurance

    Merv Haber, Attorney, Haber DiPaul

    Calvin Purnell, Manager, IBM

    Michael Burke, Consultant

Founder of MenzFit

Rhonda E. Willingham

Ms. Willingham is Founder & President of MenzFit, Inc. In this capacity, she is responsible for carrying out the goals and objectives for the organization, the strategic plan and the oversight of the program. Ms. Willingham is a trained professional image consultant specializing in self–improvement.

Prior to starting the MenzFit program, she served as a political appointee in the Clinton/Gore Administration at the Department of Labor, where she was responsible for community outreach and public affairs. Since that time, Ms. Willingham’s work experience has been in the areas of public relations, community outreach and special events and has focused primarily on children, the senior population and military families for organizations such as Children’s Hospital, Erickson Retirement Communities’ and Picerne Military Housing.

Ms. Willingham recently received the National Day of Service Award from Essence Magazine. She is the recipient of the Next Generation of Leaders: Rising Stars from Philadelphia City Council and the NAACP’s (Philadelphia Chapter) 100 Influential Black Women Award. She has also received Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Award as a “local hero” for her contributions to the community, and The National Association of Negro Business & Professional Women’s Clubs. Additionally, she has been recognized by area non-profits in both Philadelphia and Washington, DC for her dedication and commitment to helping underserved communities and currently serves on the board of DC Central Kitchen.

Additionally, she has been recognized by area non–profits such as, The Shaw Comprehensive Job Training Academy and The Choice Jobs Program, The Amerigroup Foundation as well as The District of Columbia, for her dedication and commitment to helping low–income men obtain gainful employment in their pursuit of self–sufficiency.

She is a native of Philadelphia, and holds a Masters Degree in Journalism and Communications from American University in Washington, DC.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in International Business and Public Relations from Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania, and is a fellow of Leadership Philadelphia 2011.

Services We Offer

MenzFit provides each client with one suit when he has a scheduled interview and a second outfit when he gets the job. Professional clothing provided includes a suit, dress shirt, tie, belt, socks and shoes. MenzFit’s clients also receive free tailoring and haircut services if needed. As an incentive to participate in our Career Development (CD) Program each man receives a casual day outfit.

Interview Preparation: Volunteers and staff explore any concerns or anxieties the client may have regarding his upcoming job interview and discuss the work environment and corporate culture in which the interview will take place. The client is given time to discuss any concerns that he may have and explore issues that may represent barriers to possible employment. The volunteer offers concrete tools to overcome these barriers, reviews the clients’ resume for accuracy and, upon request, spends time coaching the client on successful interviewing techniques. This component of the program lasts approximately 45 minutes.

Interview Clothing: MenzFit provides each client with one suit when he has a scheduled interview and a second suit when he gets the job. As an incentive to participate in our Career Development program, each man receives a casual day outfit. These men have shown initiative by attending and graduating from job training programs, but they have difficulty getting decent work due to the lack of business clothing. A recent article in the Washington Times reported that although many companies have instituted some form of casual dress, the suit still remains the staple garment for professional dress and job interviews. Volunteers help guide the client through the process of selecting an appropriate outfit for his upcoming interview. Professional clothing provided includes: a suit, dress shirt, tie, socks, belt and shoes (overcoat, scarf and gloves seasonal). MenzFit clients also receive free tailoring and haircut services when necessary.

The Career Development (CD) Program

The program is designed to eliminate barriers to employment for low-income men by helping them increase their marketable skills and broadening their awareness of and access to career opportunities.

The program includes five components:

The Seminar Series I & II: These seminars provide clients information on resume writing, interview techniques, business etiquette, non-verbal and verbal communications skills, time management, conflict resolution, diversity in the workplace, job advancement, fatherhood and men’s health issues.

Career Days: The two most significant barriers men face in gaining employment is a lack of knowledge of job opportunities and the anxiety of entering a professional environment. Career Days exposes clients to a variety of workplaces and office settings through partnerships with area businesses.

The Resource Center: The majority of MenzFit clients have little or no access to computers. The Resource Center is a place to access the internet and the wealth of employment information available on it. Additionally, computer training, reference books, periodicals, business magazines, employment manuals and other job related publications are available.

The Empowerment Expo: The Expo is designed to further educate men on the many employment resources available. This daylong conference reaches more men, providing a venue for those who are not able to participate in the regular CD program.

Financial Literacy Program: We offer financial workshops that:

  • Help you understand the relationship between money, wealth, and financial independence.
  • Provide you with information and tools to help you understand your relationship with money and manage it better.
  • Assist you in developing habits that will enable you to control your spending today so you can save for future expenses.
  • Educate you about your rights as a consumer and how to exercise those rights.

Contact Us

MenzFit Washington, DC

PO Box 64001

Washington, DC 20029

 

MenzFit Philadelphia, PA

1500 Walnut Street, Suite 1306

Philadelphia, PA 19103

(215) 845-5904

Email: info@menzfit.org

 

Our Sponsors

  • BNY Mellon Charitable Trusts
  • Bank of America
  • Fed Ex Corporation
  • Verizon
  • PNC Bank
  • Borden Dairy Company
  • Kraft Foods
  • Wells Fargo
  • Susquehanna Bank
  • Comcast
  • PEPCO
  • PECO
  • US Airways
  • Keystone Mercy
  • United Healthcare
  • Coldwell Banker
  • The Washington Post
  • ACE Cash Express
  • Broughton Construction
  • Innovation Print Group
  • Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC
  • Reed Smith
  • The Community Foundation (DC)
  • The Philadelphia Foundation
  • The Gannett Foundation
  • The Barra Foundation
  • Ceisler Media
  • Parx Casino
  • Euromotorcars Mercedes Benz
  • Jaquar Land Rover
  • NFL Players, Inc.
  • U Street Parking
  • Brooks Brothers
  • Burberry
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Henry A. Davidsen
  • Jos. A Bank
  • Men’s Wearhouse
  • Eric Finn Custom Clothier
  • 100 Black Men
  • McCormick Brothers Cleaners
  • Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. Fraternity
  • Spirit of Faith Christian Center
  • Sugar House Casino
  • The Marriott Hotel
  • George Weldon Jazz Trio

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Become an Ambassador

Although MenzFit has been able to grow over the past ten years, we find ourselves in particular need of additonal funding support. Due to economic restrictions many supporters have had to lessen or suspend their giving, leaving us to pursue other opportunities. MenzFit is responding to this current funding environment by establishing our Ambassadors for Goodwill & Social Responsibility, campaign. Here are some examples of how your support will make a difference:

  1. Help us expand our current range of services to our existing client base and accommodate the potential influx of new clients;
  2. Establish a resource center, equipped with computer classes and reference materials for our clients to use to increase their employment potential;
  3. Expand the organization to other cities across the country;
  4. Establish a permanent and professional organizational structure and a stable environment for our clients.

Ambassadors For Goodwill & Social Responsibility agree to:

  • Act as a spokesperson for MenzFit
  • Make a monetary donation of $25,000(2-year commitment)
  • Sponsor a clothing drive of gently worn suits, shirts, ties, belts, shoes and slacks;
  • Encourage others to become Ambassadors for MenzFit
  • Provide mentorship opportunities to our clients when schedule permits;

MenzFit agrees to:

  • List all Ambassadors on website
  • Inclusion on MenzFit video
  • Offer speaking opportunities at any MenzFit event
  • Host reception for Ambassadors during the year

For more information, please contact us.

Volunteer

Your contributions can have a significant impact on the lives of the men we serve. We ask that all volunteers attend an orientation session prior to volunteering at MenzFit. Volunteer Orientations are held during the months of February, April, June, August, October and December.

Download our Volunteer Application (MS Word doc, 28KB, 2 pages, 2/2009) and contact us for further information on how you can register for orientation today!

Volunteer Opportunities

Client Services: Assist our clients with their employment needs by helping him prepare for upcoming interviews and his new job and to assist with clothing selections. Volunteers are needed during weekday business hours (10am – 4pm).

Career Development Program: MenzFit offers a series of workshops designed not only to help our clients gain employment, but also to retain those positions and ultimately advance in the workplace. All workshops are held on Saturday mornings (10:00am – 1:00pm). A separate orientation is required for all CD Program volunteers. MenzFit welcome volunteers to serve as facilitators to administer our CD workshops. A training background is preferred.

Public Relations/Marketing: MenzFit looks to promote the good work that we do through various media forums. We need help producing and distributing press kits, maintaining press contacts, writing press releases, and securing media stories.

Cyber/Virtual Volunteer: You can help us without leaving your home. Conduct internet research on corporate funding opportunities, register MenzFit with volunteer organizations, and explore various foundations and grants from your own PC.

Annual Celebration: MenzFit’s Annual Celebration is our largest fundraising activity of the year. Held each October(Washington, DC) and June (Philadelphia, PA) volunteers are needed to help with mailings, staffing the event, and other various projects.

Other Ideas…You Tell Us!

If you have a talent that you think would help MenzFit or a project that you would like to work on, please bring it to our attention.

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Donate

Financial Contributions: MenzFit accepts monetary donations online!

Clothing: MenzFit accepts gently worn clothing donations by appointment only. Please contact us via email or phone to schedule your appointment, or email us.

We accept the following items by appointment only: Suits, shoes, ties, sports coats, belts, shirts, cuff links, khakis, dress pants, socks (new only)

Please note: Sweaters, coats, scarves, gloves and other winter clothing accepted October – February only.

Please consider your donation carefully and only donate those items listed above. We ask that all clothing donations be dry-cleaned or laundered and on hangers. All clothing must be gently worn or new. Please donate clothing that you would feel comfortable wearing on an interview. Receipts for tax deductions are available.

MenzFit does not accept: women’s clothing, tennis shoes, shorts, jeans, formalwear, double–breasted suits, worn socks, underwear or robes.

To donate women’s clothing please contact Suited For Change, Dress For Success, and/or The Career Wardrobe.