About RISE Up

RISE Up learner reading a RISE Up brochure

About RISE Up

50,000+ learners. 1,700 delivery partners. 

Retail offers a fresh start and a way forward for millions of American job seekers. As the philanthropic arm of the National Retail Federation, we build a bridge between a growing industry with hundreds of thousands of open positions and people looking for a first start, or a second chance. In January 2017, we launched our RISE Up (Retail Industry Skills and Education) training and credentials program.

Good jobs change lives.

The NRF Foundation has brought together dozens of retailers and nonprofits to present RISE Up, a groundbreaking training and credentialing initiative designed by the retail industry to help people — regardless of educational background, economic means or age — acquire the skills they need to land jobs in retail and advance into promising careers.

Training and credentials
Our training and credential programs are designed to help more people take their first steps toward promising careers in the retail industry. From retail basics to advanced selling skills, our credentials help job seekers get the skills they need to secure jobs in retail.
RISE Up Participant- In Class

“I got connected to San Diego Workforce Partnership through one of their career centers. Prior to enrolling in the training, I was attending a course at University of California San Diego and had been struggling to find a job for nearly a year. After earning the RISE Up credential, I interviewed for a position with The Home Depot and was offered a role as front-end cashier. The training gave me a greater sense of confidence and was looked at as an asset by my current employer.”

Eva R., RISE Up credential holder


RISE Up Impact: Meet Alex Garcia

Alex's Story

A year ago, Alex Garcia was incarcerated. With the help of RISE Up, he's working to turn his life around. This is his story.

RISE Up Featured Partners

RISE Up was created to help build the retail industry’s next generation of talent: first-time job seekers and entry-level employees. Developed by the NRF Foundation in collaboration with leading retailers like Macy’s, Walmart, The Home Depot and The Container Store, our programs can shape the future for people in your community — with the help of partner schools and nonprofit organizations.

Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
The Partnership provides funding to 48 private and community-based organizations in the Chicago area. The Partnership has had success implementing RISE Up to help those who are looking for a job, are under-employed or are in need of job training services.
A BJ's Employee works in the Meat Department
A group of RISE Up learners at Dress for Success Tampa
Dress for Success

The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The NRF Foundation has partnered with Dress for Success to prepare women with the confidence and tools for a career in retail.

Goodwill of Chesapeake
Long time partner of the NRF Foundation, Goodwill of Chesapeake is proud to use RISE Up as a means to prepare people to secure and retain employment, and build successful independent lives in the Baltimore area.
Container Store Employee at Checkout

Today, Generation is the largest global program across 140+ locations in 65+ cities that trains and places youth in jobs. To bridge the gap between youth unemployment and entry-level job vacancies, Generation offers rapid training for high-demand professions, social support services and guaranteed interviews with employers across 20 professions and four sectors. RISE Up is one of the trainings Generation is proud to offer to help youth secure gainful employment.

Two BJ's Wholesale Club employees walking in a BJ's location

Interested in becoming a training partner? Learn more here or contact Shana Treger at tregers@nrf.com.

David's Story

David Townes took part in the RISE Up training and credentialing program in 2017 and successfully completed the NRF Foundation’s Retail Industry Fundamentals credential. Hear David’s story about what the training meant to him and how it changed his life. 

ASAE Award image
2018 "Power of A" award recipient
Earlier this year we were humbled to be named as one of six recipients of the American Society of Association Executives 2018 Summit Award, the top honor in its annual "Power of A" awards program, for our work with RISE Up.