San Jacinto College one of 12 colleges to participate in national credentialing program for retail workers
01.20.2017 | By Amanda Fenwick
PASADENA, Texas – The League for Innovation in the Community College has announced a $2.9 million grant from the Walmart Foundation to develop a three-part credentialing program for retail workers. San Jacinto College is one of 12 community colleges across the country selected to participate in the program, Brighter Futures 3.0, which will build on the success of the Western Association of Food Chains’ (WAFC) Retail Management Certificate (RMC).
Over the 2.5-year period of the grant, the selected colleges, based in urban, suburban and rural areas, will work with retail employers who are committed to the RMC as the credential for the advancement of their existing workforce. It is anticipated that more than 1,200 incumbent retail workers will be enrolled in the program, which seeks to break the RMC into three portable and stackable certificate programs, allowing workers a more flexible and manageable way to ultimately earn the full certificate. The League for Innovation and the WAFC will disseminate the best practices from the project to other community colleges throughout the country.
In announcing the grants, League President and CEO Dr. Rufus Glasper expressed confidence that the Walmart Brighter Futures project will have a positive impact beyond the selected colleges. “The Walmart Brighter Futures 3.0 project will lead to best practices that will expand the capacity of community colleges to enhance job training opportunities for incumbent workers. The League will be delighted to share the work of the participating colleges with colleges around the country,” said Glasper.
The project aims to scale the retail management certificate that is currently offered at more than 150 community colleges in cooperation with the Western Association of Food Chains. Participating colleges will offer the credit certificate to incumbent workers at local and regional retail employers.
In addition to San Jacinto College, nine other community colleges have been funded for the training program, and two more are expected to be named in the future. The other nine colleges are:
- Alexandria Technical and Community College (Minnesota)
- Anne Arundel Community College (Maryland)
- Austin Community College (Texas)
- College of Lake County (Illinois)
- Nashville State Community College (Tennessee)
- Moraine Valley Community College (Illinois)
- Sinclair Community College (Ohio)
- Umpqua Community College (Oregon)
- Wayne County Community College District (Michigan)
The selected community colleges will receive up to $100,000 over the duration of the grant to support the colleges’ plans to provide services for retail employees. Additionally, the colleges will leverage instructional stipends to support participant enrollment in courses leading to the retail management certificate.
“We are excited to be selected to participate in this project,” said Dr. Brenda Hellyer, San Jacinto College Chancellor. “We recognize and appreciate the generosity of the Walmart Foundation and the leadership of the League for Innovation in making this work possible. We look forward to working with our national partners and our local retail employers to offer a nationally-recognized credential to retail employees right here in our community.”
“We understand the long-term potential of credentialing to accelerate upward mobility of frontline retail workers, by helping retail workers demonstrate the skills they have gained to their current and prospective employers, while at the same time making it easier for employers to identify workers who have the skills they need,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “We know that this work is important for the retail industry at large and that’s why we’re supporting the League’s efforts to make this credential more accessible to thousands of retail workers seeking to gain new skills and grow in their careers.”
About the League for Innovation in the Community College
The League for Innovation in the Community College (League) is an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment. The League hosts conferences and institutes, develops print and digital resources, and leads projects and initiatives with almost 500 member colleges, 100 corporate partners, and a host of other government and nonprofit agencies in a continuing effort to advance the community college field and make a positive difference for students and communities. Information about the League and its activities is available at league.org.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 finalist and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 30,000 students each semester benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers seven areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to a four-year college or university or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.