"We are delighted to expand our training and credentialing program in Maine and help young adults find jobs, become a valuable part of the local economy and workforce, and take their first steps into promising retail careers."Ellen Davis
NRF Foundation President
WASHINGTON – The NRF Foundation today announced that it has formed a partnership with the Maine Department of Adult Education and the Retail Association of Maine to provide the Foundation’s RISE Up training and credentials to young adults in Kittery, Maine.
“Retail launches more people into employment than any other industry,” NRF Foundation President Ellen Davis said. “We are delighted to expand our training and credentialing program in Maine and help young adults find jobs, become a valuable part of the local economy and workforce, and take their first steps into promising retail careers.”
The Kittery Adult Education Center will deliver training for the Retail Industry Fundamentals credential, in conjunction with two other workforce-readiness credentials, to a pilot group of adults ages 18 to 22 who are currently completing high school diploma courses. The Department of Adult Education plans to expand the program to more locations throughout the state later this year.
“The Maine Department of Education Office of Adult Education appreciates the opportunity to partner with the NRF Foundation and the Retail Association of Maine to establish a pathway to retail careers for Maine adults,” Office of Adult Education and Family Literacy State Director Gail Senese, Ph.D., said. “This collaboration will meet Kittery’s need for skilled employees. We look forward to continuing this valuable partnership and replicating this program throughout the state.”
Several local retailers will support the pilot including the Kittery Trading Post, which will offer employment to qualified credentialed candidates. The Trading Post will also help with classroom presentations, store tours, mock interviews and other training activities. The Outlets at Kittery will involve many of its retailers as well.
“We are excited to partner with the NRF Foundation and the Retail Association of Maine to establish the RISE Up pilot program in Maine,” Kittery Trading Post Vice President Fox Keim said. “In this current environment of exceptionally low unemployment and an aging workforce, the RISE Up program will provide a solid launching pad for candidates of any age to start their retail careers. The RISE Up program is one more tool that we can use to successfully address our hiring needs.”
The Retail Industry Fundamentals credential prepares participants for jobs as entry-level retail associates in distribution centers, call centers and stores. The training is designed to provide a wide array of knowledge in areas such as retail tools and technologies, customer service, retail math, inventory and interview skills.
The NRF Foundation launched RISE Up in January 2017 and is working with retail, nonprofit and public education partners nationwide 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. Since its launch, more than 26,000 participants have completed RISE Up training and credentials.
The NRF Foundation designed the training in collaboration with dozens of retailers, nonprofits and foundations, ensuring that the skills and training it provides meet industry needs, and that the materials created are user-friendly for nonprofits and education groups. The training can be delivered in the classroom or online to people of all backgrounds, ages and education levels. Click here to learn more about RISE Up.
About the 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.