ICYMI: Huffington Post, The Service Sector’s Commitment to Advancing Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ellen Davis, Senior Vice President of Research and Strategic Initiatives and Executive Director of the National Retail Federation Foundation, recently penned an op-ed for Huffington Post Voices to showcase the educational opportunities provided by the service industry. Below is a compilation of relevant excerpts:

“The value of education at all ages cannot be overstated in its ability to open new doors and promote opportunity and growth in the workforce. That’s why the service industry is empowering its employees to further their professional development and personal growth. Retail businesses and restaurants across the country offer a plethora of educational benefits – from scholarships to tuition reimbursement to certification programs.

“At the NRF Foundation, we are committed to providing education and workforce development programs along with awards and scholarships to retail employees and students. Collaborating with the University of Phoenix, the Dream BIG Scholarship is extended to retail employees who want to enhance their careers with additional education. Through the Next Generation and Rising Stars scholarships, students who are shaping the future of the industry are awarded the opportunity to enhance their retail education and career development.  

“Similarly, the NRA Educational Foundation (NRAEF) also helps students finance their education through scholarships. The Robert E. Rich Aspiring Entrepreneurs Scholarship, which rewards students interested in business and entrepreneurship,and the Unipro Scholarship Fund, which is available for students pursuing an education in a restaurant, foodservice, or hospitality-related major attending The Culinary Institute of America, are just two of many examples.

In addition, Path Forward recently took to Buzzfeed to celebrate the famous Americans who have worked in the service industry, climbing the career ladder and gaining lifelong skills that are critical to their success. See the full listicle including Steve Carell, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan, Kristen Wiig, Michael Dell, U.S. Senator Cory Booker and more here.


Path Forward is a project of the National Retail Federation and the National Restaurant Association that serves as a voice for hundreds of thousands of job-creating businesses across the country that are invested in providing workers a path forward to new opportunities. For more information about Path Forward, visitPathfwd.org and follow us on Twitter @PathFwdWork.