INSTITUTE, W.Va. — Students at West Virginia State University are getting a closet upgrade for the professional world.

WVSU President Ericke Cage and other university officials joined those from the natural gas production company, Diversified Energy to host a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Yellow Jacket Career Closet Tuesday morning.

It’s a career closet that will provide WVSU students with clothing for job interviews, career fairs, formal events and other functions for the business professional arena.

The WVSU Office of Career Services oversaw the project. They worked with Diversified Energy, who provided the start-up cost for the career closet of over $10,000 to transform the space located in the James C. Wilson University Union on campus, acquire clothing racks, and take clothing donations.

Executive Director of Career Services at WVSU, Renee Lester, said after working around students for 14 years now, she has seen the need for them to have access to more affordable professional clothing options as they start to make their way into the working world.

“It’s important for students to have the necessary skills but also the necessary apparel so they can make their first impression, they can stand out, they can be confident,” said Lester. “It’s just taking away that barrier that they may have, whether it be for the first day on the job, an upcoming interview, a career fair.”

Diversified Energy Manager of Community and Government Relations, Hannah Hutson said their industry is all about helping accommodate young people entering the working world.

She said they were happy to be able to provide funding to the university’s clothing closet, as having the right apparel is a major aspect of helping support young people’s various professional pursuits.

“We need younger people in this industry, and we need young professionals who feel comfortable when they come into interviews and that they feel confident, and so, we have to start with the colleges,” Hutson said.

SGA President at WVSU and an organizer of the career closet, Lucina Suha said the closet offers a variety of sizes and styles that should fit every student’s individual look.

Suha said she hopes it will fill a need for students who feel as though they can’t afford to dress more professionally.

“I feel like we always hear about broke college students and not being financially well, so with this being here and you being able to get four items, this will definitely decrease the financial burden, and you look good,” said Suha.

The Yellow Jacket Career Closet is located in room 214 of the James C. Wilson University Union on WVSU’s campus. Students must make an appointment with the Career Services office in order to browse the closet.

Lester said the Office of Career Services is also still taking clothing donations throughout this spring and summer. She said they are taking donations of slacks, dresses, dress shirts, blazers, suits, ties, and anything business professional.

Lester said you can bring donations to the Career Services office within Wallace Hall Room 108 Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. She said you can also make arrangements with them to drop the donations off by calling their office at (304)766-3250.