Maine Business Education Partnership (MBEP) was formed to foster workforce initiatives to help grow Maine’s retail industry. MBEP’s vision is to develop strategic alliances and partnerships resulting in a well-trained and dynamic workforce. The mission is to empower businesses to recruit and retain talented individuals while encouraging lifelong learning.

Incorporated under 501(c)(3) status in December 2020, the Maine Business Education Partnership (MBEP) is a non-profit entity that is managed by the Retail Association of Maine (RAM) and governed by an independent board of directors. MBEP also implements our scholarship program providing tuition benefits to deserving students. As a member of RAM, you receive privileged access to all our workforce initiatives including Retail Careers for ME and Retail Career Pathways.

We are excited to present "WORKS FOR ME!" - a quarterly newsletter that showcases the accomplishments of the Maine Business Education Partnership workforce initiatives.

    For more information, connect with Mari O'Neil - Workforce Development Director at:


    In 2018, RAM introduced the National Retail Federation's RISE UP program to Maine. This program is designed to help people secure jobs and advance their careers and has received awards for its effectiveness. In 2020, MBEP expanded on this initiative by launching, a website which features real-world examples of successful careers in Maine’s retail industry. Since then, MBEP has been actively both enrolling current and potential employees into this comprehensive training program. Additionally, also serves as a job board for members’ employment opportunities.



    In late 2022, Maine Business Education Partnership was awarded an “Industry Partnership Workforce Development” grant from the Maine Department of Labor. The grant’s mission is to establish a system of career paths in various industries that can consistently supply businesses with qualified workers and offer rewarding job options to the people of Maine.

    The Retail Career Pathways Partnership initiative offers the National Retail Federation’s RISE Up credential programs, provides the new English Language Acquisition course, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion (DEAI) best practice training to employers, and oversees the facilitation of statewide retail career exploration field trips.

    As a component of the grant, the National Retail Federation’s RISE UP credentialing programs are available at NO cost to the employees of our retail partners. Moreover, the grant also provides a stipend to those employees who successfully complete the course(s). National Retail Federation’s RISE UP credentials that are being offered include Retail Fundamentals, Customer Service & Sales, Business of Retail: Operations & Profit, and Warehouse Inventory & Logistics. Each course offers skills, information, and best practices that will aid in the development of an array of transferable skill sets.

    Download the Retail Careers Pathways slide deck to learn more.