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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Oct. 25, 201701:03 PM EST

Generation receives $4.8 million Wal-Mart grant to teach retail workers in Jacksonville

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It's an effort to build a talent pipeline for employers who want to promote high-performing employees.

Generation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on youth employment, received a $4.8 million grant Wednesday from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to launch a retail career advancement program in Jacksonville.

The goal of the six-week program is to teach 1,200 Jacksonville workers, who can earn a certificate from the National Retail Federation.

The program will teach retail employees interpersonal skills, dependability, professionalism, teamwork and problem-solving.

It is an effort by Generation to build a talent pipeline for employers who want to promote high-performing employees.

Trainees also are offered mentors to provide personal and professional support, from mock interviews to coordinating child care services to transportation issues.

“The generous funds from Wal-Mart will allow Generation to bring Jacksonville’s workforce development community together to prepare, attract and retain top talent for retail jobs,” said Mona Mourshed, president of Generation.

In 2016, there were nearly 1,700 job openings for supervisors in the retail industry in Jacksonville and employers often have unfilled vacancies and high turnover, a Generation news release said.

Workers often fail to advance because of a lack of skills and certifications, limited collaboration among employers or a lack of awareness for advancement, it said.

“Building a pipeline of future talent is not only good for business, but also for our society,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer for Wal-Mart and president of the Wal-Mart Foundation.

“At Wal-Mart, we want to make it easy for people to build skills that accelerate career advancement in retail,” she said.

Admissions and enrollment are open.

For information, email [email protected].

Generation was founded in 2014 by New York-based McKinsey & Company, a management consulting company.

It is a youth employment nonprofit with a dual mission to empower young people to build careers and to provide employers the talent they need.

It says it prepares young adults for careers in 50 cities and more than 120 locations across five countries.

 

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