Vermont Business Magazine Vermont Retail & Grocers Association (VRGA) is proud to announce they will receive a $2,500 Workforce and Education Training fund grant from the Department of Labor. The “mini” grant fund promotes job readiness activities that will eventually lead to jobs. The grant is for VRGA’s RISE Up retail training pilot program, which will provide 100 individuals with scholarships to complete the National Retail Federation’s Retail Industry Fundamentals credential.
The credential helps entry level workers advance in the workforce. With the retail sector employing one in four workers in Vermont, RISE Up addresses the skills gap in the retail sector of the Vermont workforce. The “skills gap” refers to the disconnect between the skills an employer needs to fill critical positions and what prospective employees are equipped to do.
Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Labor Lindsay Kurrle made the announcement at VRGA’s annual Legislative Day on Thursday, February 22nd. “We know that retail service jobs teach transferable skills like communication, customer service, time management and team building. These jobs also help build character and encourage hard work ethic – all skills and attributes employees will gain from working these positions and will be able to take with them either up the chain at a retail store, or another step in their career. The Vermont Department of Labor is incredibly excited and grateful for this training partnership and opportunity with the VRGA.”
Although the unemployment rate is at a low here in Vermont, business owners feel the acute effects of the skills gap, especially in the retail sector as highly trained workers are finding higher paying jobs, and fewer high school students are working. “We appreciate Governor Scott, and Commissioner Kurrle and her team for their work in addressing the workforce issues that all Vermont employers are facing; especially the entry-level employers that struggle to find qualified employees. This pilot program will help employees gain more confidence, assist them in moving up in the retail workforce and beyond, and to close the skills gap that employers are noticing each and every day,” said Erin Sigrist, President of Vermont Retail & Grocers Association.
VRGA will work with their membership of over 700 different retailers and grocers to implement the program.
About Vermont Retail & Grocers Association:
Vermont Retail & Grocers Association creates a unified voice for its engaged membership to influence legislation through lawmaker and public education. Their benefits are fundamental to their members’ economic success and to their positive community impact. VRGA is the leading voice representing Vermont’s retail industry. Their membership is inclusive of a variety of business types and models, collaborative and extremely diverse. Members, policy makers, community leaders and valued stakeholders recognize the association’s critical role in shaping legislation, improving the community, and contributing to each member’s success and the state’s economic vitality.
Source: VRGA www.vtrga.org 2.27.2018