The National Retail Federation Foundation has named its 2022 Rise Up Partner of the Year.
The latest winner of the Old Navy-presented honor is the Phoenix Union High School District’s Trevor G. Browne High School.
The Arizona school is being saluted for its use of the NFR Foundation’s Rise Up training and credentialing program. The foundation’s executive director Bill Thome praised the school, saying, “The staff is dedicated to ensuring that students get the experience and skills they need to thrive in their first roles and beyond.”
The school has put the foundation’s specialized training to use through its marketing program. Students run an on-campus store to get a better understanding of the ins and outs of retail operations such as selecting merchandise, determining prices, interacting with shoppers and being part of a retail team.
Rise Up training and credentials were introduced by the NRF in 2017. It is now offered by more than 1,200 partners across the country.
High school students with some advance training could be at an advantage given the labor shortage nationwide. The number of retail workers dropped by 20,000 last month, according to the Bureau Labor of Statistics.
The school’s John Martin Rigsby doesn’t just oversee the initiative at Trevor G. Browne High School. He also has reached out to hiring managers at local stores, as well as through campus career fairs. Students who have been trained with Rise Up courses at Phoenix Union’s largest high school are sought after by retailers at the campus career fairs.
The 2022 Rise Up Partner of the Year will be celebrated at the upcoming NRF Foundation Honors in New York City. That event is scheduled for Jan. 16 and will be co-hosted by Macy’s Inc. chairman and chief executive officer Jeff Gennette and NRF board chairman and former Qurate Retail Inc. president and CEO Mike George.