Education and credentialing program to help people secure jobs in retail

NRF foundation launches Rise Up

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The NRF Foundation announced that it has brought together dozens of retailers and nonprofits to launch Rise Up (Retail Industry Skills & Education), a groundbreaking new training and credentialing initiative designed by the retail industry to help people — regardless of education, background, economic means or age — acquire the skills they need to secure jobs in retail and advance into promising careers. From in-store to digital and mobile commerce, Rise Up is designed to build competencies and pathways for the workforce of the future.

To date, 21 companies have come together to pledge their support for building the next generation of the retail workforce, including Ashley Stewart, BJ's Wholesale Club, Brooks Brothers, The Container Store, Disney Store, The Home Depot, HSNi, The Kroger Co., L.L.Bean, Lowe's Companies Inc., Macy’s, Neiman Marcus Group, Pilot Flying J, Target, Tractor Supply Company, Under Armour, Vera Bradley, Walmart, The Wendy’s Company, White Castle and Williams-Sonoma Inc.

"Good jobs change lives, and retail doesn't just provide first jobs, but opportunities for lifelong careers." (Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO)

"Rise Up helps the people who need it the most, and helps retailers address recurring talent challenges —  including reducing the time needed to hire and train new associates and decreasing turnover."

Rise Up begins with Retail Industry Fundamentals, a 15-module formal training program for entry-level retail associates in distribution centers, call centers or stores. It will give people a wide array of knowledge in areas like retail tools and technologies, customer service, retail math, inventory and interview skills. The training can be delivered in the classroom — or online — to people of all backgrounds, ages and education levels. Upon successful completion of an exam, these learners will not only walk away with a credential for their resumes, but also the skills and confidence to take the first step toward a successful career. Rise Up is available through nonprofit and public education partners and can also be used directly by retail companies to train and advance existing employees.

"The retail industry's greatest asset is the energy and talent of its workforce, and Rise Up will give more people the skills and knowledge they need to start successful careers in this dynamic field," said Mindy Grossman, HSNi CEO, outgoing NRF Foundation board chairman and incoming NRF board chairman. "Rise Up is a first-of-its-kind, industry-led solution that will help bridge the skills gap between job-seekers and the diverse opportunities offered by a career in retail, and I am proud to be a part of this game-changing initiative."

Over the past eighteen months, the NRF Foundation has worked with dozens of retailers, nonprofit partners and foundations to build Retail Industry Fundamentals, which ensures that the skills and training it provides meet industry needs, and that the materials created are user-friendly for nonprofit and education partners. Initial funding for the development of Rise Up was made possible by a capacity-building grant from the Walmart Foundation.

Source: NRF