The Retail Association of Maine Joins with NRF Foundation and Jobs for Maine’s Graduates to Provide RISE Up Training

Wednesday, February 28, 2018 by Amy Downing

Retail, Best Practices, Jobs, NRF

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The Retail Association of Maine announced that it has formed a partnership with the NRF Foundation and the nonprofit group Jobs for Maine’s Graduates to provide the Foundation’s RISE Up training and credentials to students throughout the state.

“We are excited to bring RISE Up to Maine and are thrilled to be working with JMG as one of our first Maine partners,” Retail Association of Maine President and CEO Curtis Picard said. “JMG does an excellent job preparing Maine's young people to be career ready and RISE Up will provide Mainers with a marketable and relevant retail industry credential. The Retail Association of Maine has a strong relationship with the National Retail Federation and the NRF Foundation and RISE Up was created by retailers to help address a real workplace issue. RISE Up will help Maine retailers provide both potential and existing employees the skills they need for the ever-changing retail environment.”

JMG will deliver training for the Retail Industry Fundamentals credential to students at four schools: Lewiston Region Technical Center, Waterville High School, South Portland High School and Mount View High School. Nearly 70 students will take part in the training and JMG plans to grow the program to include more students later this year.

“JMG's primary goal is to prepare students to be successful in the workplace, and to expose them to a variety of career pathways,” JMG President and CEO Craig Larrabee said. “We are excited to team up with the NRF Foundation to bring this opportunity to our students. The RISE Up program will be a great way for our young people to gain the added education and credentials they will need to stand out and succeed in the retail industry.”

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 like retail tools and technologies, customer service, retail math, inventory and interview skills.

“Retail is an industry of opportunity and Maine’s diverse retail sector supports an abundance of jobs vital to the local economy,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “We’re eager to see RISE Up take root in Maine to help would-be workers launch promising careers in our thriving industry and to meet the workforce needs of local retailers.”

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 learners have completed RISE Up training and credentials.

The NRF Foundation designed the training in collaboration with dozens of retailers, nonprofit partners and foundations, ensuring that the skills and training it provides meet industry needs, and that the materials created are user-friendly for nonprofit and education partners. The training can be delivered in the classroom or online to people of all backgrounds, ages and education levels.

Click here to see RISE Up in action and hear stories from four individuals who landed jobs after participating in RISE Up training in Baltimore.


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