Retail group launches Rise Up retail training in Baltimore

by Lorraine Mirabella

David Townes has worked as a cashier for Safeway and Home Depot in the past but has been out of a job, other than temporary positions, since 2012, when he stopped working after a surgery.

Hoping to get back into retail, the East Baltimore resident signed up for a pilot retail certification program being offered by Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake in partnership with National Retail Federation.

“I’m a people person,” said Townes, 59. “I enjoy working with the public and making people happy. The opportunity to earn a certificate in retail, I thought would help in my job search.”

Stores have been closing their doors at a rapid clip this year, but in this job training class, the students still see retail as their future. After all, despite tremendous shifts in retail as more consumers shop online, forcing chains to trim store counts and malls to reinvent themselves, retail jobs have been growing. The sector added 1.5 million jobs since 2010, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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