FRANKFORT, Ky. — With retail employers across the country challenged to find and retain reliable, qualified workers, the Kentucky Retail Institute (KRI) is offering a new solution to help businesses and employees alike. The Retail Leaders Apprenticeship Program will deliver on-the-job education and training for students and working adults wanting to expand their skill sets and advance their careers.
Apprentices will work as paid employees, learning the entire scope of retail operations, including customer service, loss prevention, logistics, merchandising, accounting and more. The KRI partnered with the MBA Research & Curriculum Center to develop a robust and comprehensive curriculum that has been reviewed and approved by the U.S. Department of Labor as the Retail Operations Specialist.
“The retail industry is the country’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four jobs nationwide,” said Cassie Grigsby, president of the Kentucky Retail Institute. “As we continue to recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must cultivate and train the workforce that retailers need for success, both today and in the years to come. The Retail Leaders Apprenticeship Program will be an important part of the solution.”
The KRI will work with employers as well as employees, job candidates and students who want to participate in the Retail Leaders program and become certified as Retail Operations Specialists. The apprenticeship includes 2,000 hours of on-the-job training, which equates to approximately one year for an employee working a 40-hour week. Part-time employees can also participate at the employer’s discretion.
Employers across all industries are creating and leveraging apprenticeship programs to help current and future employees gain the skills they need to succeed without college degrees. The U.S. Department of Labor reports over 593,000 apprentices nationwide participated in apprenticeship programs in 2021, with 96,000 graduating from their programs.
“The Retail Leaders Apprenticeship Program offers workers a pathway to a successful career while helping employers build a more competitive, long-term talent pipeline,” added Grigsby. “Whether you are an employee wanting to learn more about the ins and outs of operating a retail business, or an employer seeking new apprentices and staff, we encourage you to reach out.”
Employers, educators, students and working adults interested in learning more and participating in the program should visit RetailLeadersProgram.com.
Click here for more Kentucky business news.