Hope Street Group Manages $150k Challenge for Adoption of Competency-Based Tools & Training In Retail

Tuesday, November 16, 2016


Hope Street Group will award a total of $150,000 to five organizations to promote the adoption of competency-based tools and training in retail and adjacent sectors. The National Retail Challenge, announced at the ACT Foundation I Am Retail Summit and with funding provided from the ACT Foundation, recognizes the need to reengineer the workforce–spanning the training, hiring and promotion process–to support a rapidly evolving marketplace.


Retail is the fourth largest industry in the United States, employing 16 million people. The retail industry is critical to the economy with the occupation of retail salespeople currently the second-fasting growing in the U.S., second only to nursing. Due in part to poor signaling of needed competencies between employers, training providers and job candidates, there is a skills mismatch in today’s marketplace. This mismatch has resulted in unfilled jobs and high turnover rates within retail.

The National Retail Challenge calls on applicants to submit proposals promoting the use of an open-sourced technology platform that is driven by a cross-sector competency model to display learning and career maps that are for working learners, learning providers and employers. The career maps should ensure that employers know what skills they should look for in candidates; that train providers to know what competencies to teach in an educational environment; and help individuals get the skills for the career paths they want.

“The National Retail Challenge provides incentives for creative workforce organizations to adopt competency-based methods and tools, bringing us one step closer to reengineering the workforce system,” remarked Martin Scaglione, President and CEO of Hope Street Group. “With its goal of advancing competency-based career pathways and effectively filling the jobs of today and tomorrow, it is directly in line with the Sync Our Signals movement”.

Since 2015, as a part of their larger Sync Our Signals (SOS) initiative, Hope Street Group has been managing the Walmart Foundation Retail Community of Practice (CoP). The CoP is part of Walmart and Walmart Foundation’s Opportunity initiative, a $100 million commitment to help increase the economic mobility of entry level workers in retail and adjacent sectors. To maximize and stimulate opportunities for enhanced impact across the initiative, the CoP serves as a trusted space where workforce practitioners, service providers and subject matter experts can connect to strengthen their knowledge, expertise and coordination in preparing retail workers for career growth and advancement.

“We are happy to support the National Retail Challenge to improve the integration of competency-based tools and training in retail and adjacent sectors,” says Parminder Jassal, executive director, ACT Foundation. “This challenge will increase transparency in the workforce by connecting employers, learning providers and working learners with the competencies necessary to be successful in today’s economy and the future.”

To apply, go to retailcommunityofpractice.com and download the application. Once complete, please send your application and any related questions to syncoursignals@hopestreetgroup.org. Applications for the National Retail Challenge must be submitted no later than 12/11/2016.

Hope Street Group is a national organization that works to ensure every American will have access to tools and options leading to economic opportunity and prosperity. For more information, visit:www.hopestreetgroup.org.


%d bloggers like this: