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New Program Schools Retail Workers on Supply-Chain Roles

The National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation and the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) Foundation have launched a new “Warehouse, Inventory and Logistics” certificate for retail employees.

The program will be offered as the newest credential of the NRF Foundation’s RISE Up skills training portfolio.

“E-commerce and supply chains are increasingly essential to our economy,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “The Warehouse, Inventory and Logistics credential will give job seekers and employees the training they need to navigate the complex supply chain challenges retailers currently face. Expanding our workforce within this critical area will help to meet the current and quickly growing consumer demand, positioning the retail industry for future success.”

Created to address some of the supply chain issues exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the credential will target current and future potential employees interested in supply chains or working in warehouses, distribution or fulfillment centers. The educational program highlights the increasing importance of warehouse, distribution and similar facilities and their workers to both the retail industry and the U.S. economy, NRF noted, adding that these employees are essential to the infrastructure of thousands of retail businesses.

The credential trains workers on the importance of supply chains and the flow of goods, the design and operation of a warehouse-distribution-fulfillment center, and safety measures and techniques needed to succeed. It also allows participants to explore the many jobs and career paths available within this growing area.

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“This program provides a solid foundation for students and others to launch their supply chain careers,” ASCM CEO Abe Eshkenazi said. “Working in supply chain not only provides financial stability, but also an opportunity to make a meaningful impact on people’s lives.”

NRF Foundation and the Association for Supply Chain Management Foundation have created a Warehouse, Inventory and Logistics certificate.
An employee drives an empty pallet trolley into a warehouse at an Amazon logistics center. Stefan Puchner/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The number of warehouse and distribution center jobs has grown 56 percent in the last five years, the organization noted. With more than 1.47 million jobs in the warehouse industry, the announcement comes as retailers look to fill more than 400,000 warehouse-related job openings nationwide. These skilled jobs offer competitive pay with an average entry-level wage of $19.88 per hour.

RISE Up is the NRF Foundation training and credentialing program that provides foundational employability skills to help individuals find and develop careers in retail and beyond. The NRF Foundation has helped more than 425,000 people earn RISE Up credentials to date.

The ASCM Foundation works with private foundations and public organizations to address pressing global challenges with a specific focus on building frontier and humanitarian supply chains, STEM and career awareness, workforce development, and diversity and inclusion initiatives.