January 2017, Part II


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January 2017, Part II

NATIONAL ROUNDUP

NRF Joins With Retailers To Unveil Training Program For Entry-Level Job Seekers. On Sunday, the National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation launched RISE Up, a new training and credentialing program designed to help entry-level job seekers gain the skills needed to secure jobs in retail and advance into fulfilling careers. According to the Associated Press, more than 20 leading retail companies such as Home Depot, Walmart, and Neiman Marcus have pledged their support. RISE Up will administer 30 to 40 hours of classroom training and 15 hours of online training through nonprofit groups and public education partners. The initiative will also offer individual credential programs tailored by course, including offerings such as mentorship, hands-on training, and certificates to take to interviews.

Walmart Invests In Training And Education For Employees. This week, Walmart announced plans to add 10,000 U.S. jobs and offer skills-building training to a quarter-million of its employees before the end of the year. The company aims to open 160 new training academies by July 2017, from which over 225,000 frontline hourly supervisors and assistant store managers will graduate this year with hands-on training in retail fundamentals, leadership skills and running store departments. Walmart also emphasized commitment to investing in the workforce at Retail’s BIG Show, where a $2 million grant was presented to the NRF Foundation’s Retail Industry Fundamentals training/credentialing program within the RISE Up initiative. Walmart Foundation President and Chief Sustainability Officer Kathleen McLaughlin stated: “How do we get you from that to a middle skills job? Training and education…75 percent of our store managers started out as hourly people. Doug McMillon, our CEO, himself started out unloading boxes in a distribution center.”

Kansas City Restaurant Owner On Importance Of First Job Experience. This month, Path Forward profiled Vic Allred, owner of several popular restaurants in the Kansas City area. The piece, A Commitment to Helping Others Grow in the Industry, focuses on Allred’s experience in the restaurant industry, and the importance he believes that entry-level jobs play in moving forward with a career. Allred states, “I began as a dishwasher and worked my way up to kitchen manager before graduating high school. I opened my first restaurant right after college and have been expanding ever since. At Jazz [restaurant], giving back is a top priority.”  

Missouri’s Restaurant Industry Playing A Vital Role In The State. In a recent op-ed featured in the St. Louis Business Journal, Bob Bonney, CEO of the Missouri Restaurant Association, wrote on the importance that restaurants are playing for many people in Missouri and around the nation. Bonney points out that the restaurant industry is the second largest private sector employer in the nation, with 90 percent of managers having worked their way up from entry-level positions. On a local level, restaurants in Missouri employ 12 percent of the state’s total workforces. Bonney states, “We are an industry where a person can begin with no experience, no formal education, and reach the middle class. When you visit a restaurant, note what you see there. Our people and our foods are a reflection of what makes this nation so great.”

Turning Failure Into Triumph. On January 14, the National Retail Federation’s Jessica Hibbard penned the article, “7 Ways To Turn Setbacks Into Success Stories.” Developing solutions quickly, building relationships with colleagues and paying close attention to details are among the hard-learned lessons designer Rebecca Minkoff, Kohl’s Blake Smith, Neiman Marcus CEO Karen Katz and other retail leaders shared at the Student Program at Retail’s BIG Show this week. Hibbard recounted the experience of Lauren Mastrodonato, a project manager of retail operations at West Elm, saying, “the most important thing — no matter how big the blunder — is to own up to your mistake and be accountable for it. Don’t try to cover it up; instead, focus on getting the help you need to fix the problem.” To read the full article, click here.

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