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State Tech ‘Dress for Success Challenge’ kicks off Career and Tech Ed Month

On February 1, State Technical College of Missouri kicked off Career and Technical Education (CTE) Month with a Dress for Success Challenge in which students were asked to dress in the professional attire associated with their degree program. The classes with the highest percentage of students appropriately dressed were rewarded with a pizza party.


According to Glenda Jordan-Whitney, Director of Career Services, the challenge was an opportunity for students to prepare for the upcoming job fair.


In addition, the Dress for Success Challenge was organized by staff as part of the 50th anniversary celebration to commemorate the Dress Up Fridays of the 1960s. During the college’s first decade, students were required to purchase a shirt and tie. It was dictated that all students would wear their professional attire every Friday with no exceptions.


“The intention of Dress Up Fridays was that we would become comfortable wearing the shirt and tie to interviews and in the work environment where we would eventually be employed,” said John Branstetter, 1964 Design Drafting.  Branstetter served as a guest speaker and judge for the Dress for Success Challenge.


During his presentation to students, he stressed the importance of dressing to impress the employer.


In his speech, Branstetter recommended everyone dress professionally even if they were interviewing for a position that wouldn’t require a suit and tie for men or a dress for women. “In today’s job market there is a lot of competition,” he said.  “Getting the job may come down to who made the most effort and who made the biggest impression.”


Branstetter also stressed the importance of dressing appropriately and being presentable once a student was employed. He commented that although some of the students may be wearing a uniform to work every day and getting dirty and filthy by the end of the day, it wasn’t an excuse to arrive to work with your hair not combed, your shirt not tucked or your shoes not shined. “You represent your employer and you want to look sharp,” he said. “If you look sharp, you’ll be sharp.”


“We’re very thankful to have an alumnus such as John return to campus to share stories about the early days,” said Jordan-Whitney. “I was pleased he shared with the students the importance of making a good first impression with employers and the importance of their appearance and dress.”


As judge, Branstetter visited with students in eight academic programs. Those programs participating in the challenge included: Business Systems Specialist; Commercial Turf & Grounds Management; Construction & Civil Technology; Design Drafting Technology; Heavy Equipment Technology; Heavy Equipment Technology CAT Option; Medium/Heavy Truck Technology; and Networking Systems Technology.


The winners of the challenge included second-year students in Design Drafting Technology and first-year students in Heavy Equipment Technology CAT Option.



With more than 35 academic programs, State Technical College of Missouri is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission to prepare students for profitable employment and a life of learning. 


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