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

WASHINGTON--()--The NRF Foundation today announced that it has formed a partnership with the nonprofit group Jobs for Maine’s Graduates (JMG) to provide the Foundation’s RISE Up training and credentials to students throughout the state. The partnership is made possible through funding and support from the Retail Association of Maine.

“Retail is an industry of opportunity and the first employer for millions of teenagers around the country. By providing students with the tools needed to land a job in retail, we’re opening the door for them to learn vital transferable skills that can be used to advance within retail or later break into a new industry,” 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.”

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.

“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.”

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.

About JMG

JMG is a statewide, private nonprofit that partners with public schools and private businesses to offer results-driven solutions to ensure all Maine students graduate, attain post-secondary credentials and pursue meaningful careers. JMG provides more than 7,000 students a year with the skills and experience they will need to reach their potential. JMG graduates become engaged members of their communities, productive adults in the workforce, and contributors to Maine's economy.

About the Retail Association of Maine

The Retail Association of Maine is a statewide, non-profit trade association representing more than 350 businesses in the state, from large chains to small independent retailers. Incorporated in 1937, the Retail Association of Maine serves as the voice of retailers in Maine and concentrates on preserving the state's strong retail climate. For more information on the Retail Association of Maine, please visit the website at or call the Retail Association of Maine offices at 207-623-1149.

About NRF Foundation

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters.



National Retail Federation
Karlie Frank (855) NRF-PRESS


National Retail Federation
Karlie Frank (855) NRF-PRESS