BALTIMORE, September 14, 2017 – Retailers, nonprofit organizations and a Baltimore city workforce agency today joined forces with the NRF Foundation to host a hiring fair for more than 100 job seekers who have recently completed Retail Industry Fundamentals, one of the NRF Foundation’s credentials in its RISE Up (Retail Industry Skills and Education) initiative.
“Whether they’re looking for that first job or a fresh start, Retail Industry Fundamentals provides the skills and expertise required to get a job in retail,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We are proud to join with the city and nonprofit organizations to build a bridge between job seekers and the many exciting career opportunities in our industry. Good jobs change lives, and it’s our hope that through this program we can make a difference in communities around the country.”
Prior to the hiring fair, RISE Up participants completed training for the program’s Retail Industry Fundamentals credential through one of the NRF Foundation’s several Baltimore-area nonprofit partner organizations. The 15-module program prepares learners for jobs as entry-level retail associates in distribution centers, call centers, fulfillment centers or stores. The training is designed to provide a wide array of knowledge in areas like retail tools and technologies, customer service, retail math, inventory and interview skills.
The NRF Foundation engaged the Mayor's Office of Employment Development, Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, Humanim, Living Classrooms, Marian House and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs in Baltimore to recruit job-seekers and administer Retail Industry Fundamentals.
"We are pleased to collaborate with NRF to increase opportunities for Baltimore's job seekers in the retail industry," Mayor Catherine E. Pugh said. "Efforts like RISE Up are successful because they work with businesses, nonprofits and government agencies like the Mayor's Office of Employment Development to provide training that leads to industry-recognized certifications and employment. This strategy results in citizens getting good jobs and building their careers."
Upon completion of training, participants interviewed with participating retailers at today’s hiring fair. BJ’s Wholesale Club, Crate & Barrel, Macy’s, Staples, Target and Under Armour conducted one-on-one interviews for over 500 open positions during the day-long event, which was held at the UA House at Fayette, a community center in Baltimore run by Living Classrooms and partly funded by Under Armour.
The NRF Foundation designed Retail Industry Fundamentals in collaboration with dozens of retailers, nonprofit partners and foundations, ensuring that the skills and training it provides meet industry needs, and that the materials created are user-friendly for nonprofit and education partners. The training can be delivered in the classroom or online to people of all backgrounds, ages and education levels. From in-store to digital and mobile commerce, RISE Up is designed to build competencies and pathways for the workforce of the future.
About RISE Up
RISE Up, an industry-led initiative run by the NRF Foundation, helps people build careers that are both challenging and rewarding through hands-on learning and credentials. Available through nonprofit and public education partners, it provides entry-level workers the skills and education needed to get a job in retail and advance their careers. nrf.com/riseup
About NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.
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