NRF Foundation’s RISE Up program honored with ASAE’s top award for associations

"It’s an incredible honor to have our work recognized by an organization as prestigious as ASAE."

Ellen Davis
NRF Foundation President

WASHINGTON – The American Society of Association Executives has given their top annual award to the NRF Foundation’s RISE Up (Retail Industry Skills & Education) training and credentialing program. Developed and managed by the National Retail Federation’s philanthropic arm, the Foundation’s program was launched in January 2017 to help train and advance entry-level retail associates and first-time job seekers.

“With more job openings in the United States than unemployed workers to fill them, creating a skilled workforce ready and able to secure meaningful employment is more important than ever,” said Karen Katz, former president and CEO of Neiman Marcus Group and chair of the NRF Foundation. “RISE Up training and credentials help learners gain skills and improve their confidence to secure retail jobs. I am incredibly proud of the work the NRF Foundation does to help bridge the gap between jobseekers and a growing retail industry looking to build a skilled workforce.”

“It’s an incredible honor to have our work recognized by an organization as prestigious as ASAE,” NRF Foundation President Ellen Davis said. “RISE Up’s success is due in large part to our ability to bring the retail industry and its stakeholders together, much like ASAE brings together those in the association world. We’ve been grateful to play a role in bringing retailers together with nonprofits and the nation’s workforce system to help job seekers of all ages and backgrounds take their first steps toward promising careers.”

The NRF Foundation is among six recipients of ASAE’s 2018 Summit Award, the top honor in its annual “Power of A” awards program. Summit Award winners are chosen from the 16 winners of the program’s 2018 Gold Award, which RISE Up also received. The program, which received 110 entries this year, recognizes associations that leverage their resources to solve problems, advance industry and professional performance, kickstart innovation and improve world conditions. The awards will be formally presented at a dinner in October in Washington.

“Congratulations to the NRF Foundation for creating and implementing such a meaningful initiative to strengthen our society,” said American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics CEO Sharon J. Swan, who chaired the judging committee for the award. “Their initiative exemplifies how no other sector helps improve lives as comprehensively as the association community.”

RISE Up helps people regardless of education, background, economic means or age acquire the skills they need to secure jobs in retail and advance into promising careers. The credentials cover a wide array of knowledge including sales, customer service, inventory, retail math and distribution, and training is available through online and classroom formats. Since its launch, more than 45,000 participants have completed RISE Up training and credentials.

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.