ROCKVILLE, MD — 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 was announced today 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. 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 grant is part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s $100 million commitment over five years to support programs that help increase the economic mobility for entry level workers to advance their careers, in order to promote a stronger workforce. This Opportunity Initiative is one of the single largest investments focused on the retail sector.
The Careers in Retail Initiative will be built upon Goodwill’s successful job training programs. 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, present 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, 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.”
About Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 165 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with a presence in 14 other countries. Goodwill is ranked as one of the top 20 most inspiring companies. (Forbes, 2014). Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 3,000 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com®. Goodwill also builds revenue and creates jobs by contracting with businesses and government agencies to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. In 2013, more than 9.8 million people in the United States and Canada benefited from Goodwill’s career services. To find a Goodwill location near you, use the online locator at www.goodwill.org, or call (800) GOODWILL. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillIntl and @GoodwillCapHill, and find us on Facebook: GoodwillIntl.
Director, Public Relations
Goodwill Industries International
Phone: (240) 333-5266