Goodwill, Walmart partner on retail career-training program

A new career-training program designed to equip experienced, entry-level retail employees with the skills and credentials to advance to in-demand, mid-level retail positions has been announced by Goodwill Industries International. The Careers in Retail Initiative was made possible by a $3 million grant from the Walmart Foundation for a period of two years. According to the companies, the program will be initiated by eight selected Goodwill agencies from across the United States and will be facilitated by third-party credentialing organizations to include community colleges and career-training businesses.

The Careers in Retail Initiative will be built upon Goodwill's successful job training programs, the company said. Pilot training programs will be developed by local Goodwill agencies to equip low-skilled workers with the tools they need to move into middle-skill employment and achieve both career and financial goals.

"Through the support of Walmart, Goodwill will leverage its expertise as the leading provider of job placement and training services to have a nationwide economic impact," said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "With the ability to demonstrate credentials in the mid-level competencies required by today's retail sector employers, these individuals will have proven skills for career advancement opportunities to contribute more fully at work."

Eight Goodwill agencies will be selected to operate the Careers in Retail Initiative pilot programs. They will connect employed retail workers with the retail training, business operation education, retention support and case-management resources they need to get the industry-recognized credential and to advance their careers to the next level.

"We are excited to partner with other foundations, employers, training providers, government bodies and nonprofit organizations to improve career pathways for people in retail and adjacent sectors," said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and senior vice president of corporate affairs. "We believe progress requires collective action in the industry to align on the skills required for advancement and develop more innovative, effective and universally-used training and assessments that recognize on-the-job learning. Ultimately, we aim to increase economic mobility of the U.S. retail workforce as a whole."

Topics: Employee Training

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