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Retail Management Skills Certificate Now Offered

K. Patricia Bouweraerts
Jean Lampson at Meadowood Image

Jean Lampson, Business Division Administrative Assistant, interacts with passers-by at a recent outreach event for business and retail management programs.

Truckee Meadows Community College is now offering a skills certificate in Retail Management, with successful completion qualifying students for the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) nationally-recognized credential after eight classes, 24 credits.

“This skills certificate will not only benefit those working at grocery retailers, but people working in all types of retail outlets can take this first educational stepping stone to move up in their career,” said Marie Murgolo-Poore, PhD, Business Division Dean. “Retail is one of the top growing fields for employment opportunities in the region. Companies are looking more and more to promote from within.”

An Open House to orient prospective students is scheduled at TMCC’s Meadowood Center, 5270 Neil Road, Reno.

  • When: Thursday, Aug. 18, drop in between 5:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Where: Meadowood Center, room 123

If students would like assistance enrolling during the orientation, it is requested that they complete the TMCC application for admission online prior to attending the Open House event. It may take 48 hours for acceptance and login information. For the skills certificate, students should select the “upgrade current job skills” option and request to “receive admission letter by email.”

Murgolo-Poore added that the national retail management credential began as part of the President’s Upskill Initiative with the purpose to boost workers into higher-paying jobs and also provide companies the middle-skill workers they need.

Once students complete the TMCC Retail Management Skills Certificate, they present final transcripts to their company’s human resources department who will forward the documents to WAFC for the management credential. This credential is honored by all U.S. companies who belong to the WAFC. Member companies include the following and many more retailers:

  • Albertsons, LLC., Southern California Division
  • Associated Food Stores
  • Costco Wholesale Corporation
  • Cub Foods
  • Food 4 Less
  • Fred Meyer
  • Fry’s Food & Drug
  • Raley’s
  • Ralphs Grocery
  • Safeway, Inc.
  • Save Mart Supermarkets
  • Smart & Final
  • Smith’s Food & Drug
  • WinCo Foods

“Make sure you contact your human resources department for details on the program, including reimbursement and WAFC cash honorarium for successful completion,” she said.

Students can take all classes online or at the Meadowood Center, if desired. Coursework for the skills certificate focuses on core competencies in mathematical, oral and written communications needed by retail managers. Students also become familiar with business fundamentals, basic computer information systems (IS), employee supervision, marketing and personnel administration.

“Most of the classes will also count toward the Associate of Applied Science degree in Business offered at TMCC when students want to continue their education,” Murgolo-Poore said. “Wages usually go up as people advance in the education pathway.”

Pay Levels in Retail Careers

An entry-level clerk may expect to receive about $8.10–$19.80 per hour when starting work. These positions include courtesy clerks, greeters, cashiers, stockers, food production and prep counter servers.

After gaining experience and completing core skills, employees may be able to move up into the department manager level, including service supervisors and specialty department managers. Pay at this level ranges from about $13-$23 per hour, she said.

“There will also be greater autonomy and advancement opportunities as people achieve additional competencies,” Murgolo-Poore said.

The next step up in the education and career pathway includes supervisory positions, entry-level store managers and assistant store managers. The annual pay for these positions can be as high as $55,000 or more with possible bonuses.

Employees then may decide to complete an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree and progress to district, regional or corporate positions.

“Retail can really be a career, not just a job,” she said. “Both employers and employees benefit as new skills are gained or sharpened.”

Meadowood Center

Murgolo-Poore added that the Meadowood Center is a conveniently located place to take classes or get a degree. General education, business, logistics and law classes are scheduled at the Center. Students may complete an entire associate degree or certificate in business at the site, as well as the Associate of Applied Science, Logistics.

For more information, please contact the Business Division at 775-673-7132.