NRF Foundation Unveils Educational Program For Aspiring Employees

The NRF Foundation has partnered with retailers and nonprofits to launch RISE Up (Retail Industry Skills & Education), a training and credentialing initiative designed to help people of all ages, backgrounds and education acquire skills to secure jobs in retail.

Twenty-one companies have pledged their support to help build the next generation of the retail workforce, including:

  • Ashley Stewart;
  • BJ’s Wholesale Club;
  • Brooks Brothers;
  • The Container Store;
  • Disney Store;
  • The Home Depot;
  • HSNi;
  • The Kroger Co.;
  • Lowe’s Companies Inc.;
  • Macy’s;
  • Neiman Marcus Group;
  • Pilot Flying J;
  • Target;
  • Tractor Supply Company;
  • Under Armour;
  • Vera Bradley;
  • Walmart;
  • The Wendy’s Company;
  • White Castle; and
  • Williams-Sonoma Inc.

The RISE Up program starts with Retail Industry Fundamentals, a 15-module formal training program for entry-level retail associates to gain knowledge in retail tools and technologies, customer service, retail math, inventory and interview skills. Once they pass an exam, students will gain a credential for their resumes and the necessary skills toward a successful career.


RISE Up is available through nonprofit and public education programs, or it can be used by retail companies to train and advance existing employees.

“Good jobs change lives, and retail doesn’t just provide first jobs, but opportunities for lifelong careers,” said Matthew Shay, CEO and President of NRF in a statement. “RISE Up helps the people who need it the most, and helps retailers address recurring talent challenges —  including reducing the time needed to hire and train new associates and decreasing turnover.”

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