The Encore – Walmart: Unlocking the Potential of the U.S. Retail Workforce

The retail sector plays a key role in contributing to the American economy, supporting one in four American jobs – a total of 42 million, according to the National Retail Federation. Additionally, we know that retail sales person and cashier is the most common job in America, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At The Forum, hosted by the National Association of Workforce Boards (NAWB) in Washington, D.C., we joined the workforce development community from around the country to discuss a new program we are supporting.

The Walmart Foundation is investing $10.9 million in the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) to build retail career services among local workforce development boards (WDBs). These WDBs will help create clear entry points into the retail industry for job seekers, while also enabling incumbent workers to advance along career pathways. Additionally, they will work together to share learnings and pilot and test ways to provide value to the retail sector as a whole.

The Walmart Foundation is investing in The Partnership and WDBs across the country because we know the essential role that WDBs play in training the next generation workforce. We also know that the training this grant will facilitate can benefit sectors beyond retail by developing workers whose pathways start in retail but end up in another sector.

The grant is part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s $100 million commitment to help retail and adjacent sector workers across the country advance their careers and ultimately achieve greater economic mobility. The continued work of NAWB and collaborations like that of the Walmart Foundation and The Partnership are unlocking the fullest potential of the U.S. retail workforce.

We invite you to read more about the Walmart Foundation’s work with The Partnership to build retail career services here.

Blog contributed by Kathleen McLaughlin, President Walmart Foundation & Chief Sustainability Officer, Walmart


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