Working to Further Advance the Careers of Retail Workers across the United States through a Strategic Corporate Foundation Partnership

The skills gap among U.S. workers is a pressing challenge facing our country today that is impacting the 15 million people working in retail. According to the Bridge the Gap report published by Harvard Business School, 51 percent of retailers find it difficult to fill middle-skills roles.

Through a $2.5 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, Dress for Success Worldwide is taking steps to address this gap by provide over 5,000 disadvantaged women from more than 30 states with pre-employment training that will help them obtain jobs and advance in their careers. This grant is part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s $100 million five year commitment to help increase the economic mobility for entry level workers to advance in their careers, which happens to be one of the single largest investments focused on the retail sector.

“It is not enough for Dress for Success to help women gain employment through our workforce development programming – we have to ensure they obtain stable and sustainable employment to help them achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence,” said Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide.  “With the generous support of the Walmart Foundation, we are able to provide career pathways that offer the women of Dress for Success the tools and resources to become upwardly mobile in alignment with employment trends and client needs.”

Through the grant, Dress for Success Worldwide now has the opportunity to help over 5,000 future retail workers nationwide advance in their careers.

Over five years Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s commitment will support programs that will develop industry-wide tools to map out career pathways and enhance demand-driven skills training programs and certifications. Walmart and the Walmart Foundation have set goals to provide retail training for more than 50,000 workers and help 30,000 of those workers move from entry- to middle-skills jobs. This commitment will also support work to create career pathways for the 15 million people working in retail today, including seven million women. You can learn more about the Walmart Foundation’s commitment at http://ow.ly/JKf3Y.

How to Answer When Success is Calling!

There’s nothing easy about the job search, but if asked to pinpoint the most unnerving part of the process, many would say it’s interviewing. Yet, even more harrowing than a face-to-face meeting is the initial phone interview. Today these preliminary interviews are so prevalent that 92% of HR managers surveyed say they screen applicants via telephone before ever requesting an in-person meeting and 95% rely on these conversations to gauge a candidate’s qualifications.

Over the years, we’ve seen many talented and intelligent women come through our doors who are more than capable of getting the job, but were simply unprepared to handle a phone interview.  It was these women who inspired us to partner with TracFone to create Success is Calling.  As part of the program, TracFone created a series of training videos that offer career tips from multi-talented performer Vanessa Williams. Check out the videos below to find out Vanessa’s advice for nailing a phone interview, as well as fashion tips and practice questions to prepare for your next big opportunity.