A Message of Interest for the Retail Sector of our Business Community

Please contact Rebecca to learn about how this opportunity could positively affect your business.
The letter below came from her to our Chamber office this morning.

Good Morning Chamber Leaders!

Several weeks ago, I shared with you some information regarding a privately funded grant we received to work with businesses and individuals in the retail sector.  Last week the national announcement of this program – Re-Imagine Retail was made. Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services along with the Central Minnesota Workforce Board hosted a grant launch event, and press releases were sent to all local papers (37 across 11 counties). I wanted to share this information with you here, and ask for your help to connect with businesses in your communities who might have an interest in learning more about this grant opportunity.  We are working to build new, and strengthen existing relationships to learn more about the retail industry and its needs, and to ensure the work we are doing has a positive impact for individuals and businesses across all the counties that we serve. 

Coming soon is a Customer Service and Sales course that results in a certification from the National Retail Federation. This is open to interested individuals and retail employees, and will be held in Cambridge.

Thank you!


Rebecca Perrotti | Workforce Development Coordinator
Central Minnesota Jobs & Training Services, Inc.
903 E. Forest Avenue | Mora, MN 55051
p:  612.247.9319 | e:  rperrotti@cmjts.org

Workforce Excellence Is CENTRAL To All We Do
Visit our website at www.cmjts.org


cmjts-1 cmjts-2

NEWS RELEASE                Date: 9-7-2016
Contact: Rebecca Perrotti                                                         320-679-6488
Workforce Development Coordinator                                  rperrotti@cmjts.org

 Central Minnesota Workforce Development Board Receives $300,000 Grant to Strengthen Retail Industry Career Services in 11 Central Minnesota Counties

 Funding is part of a $10.9 million grant awarded to The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership from the Walmart Foundation

 Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Pine Counties, Sept. 7, 2016 – Today, the Walmart Foundation announced that the Central Minnesota Workforce Development Board, together with Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc. (CMJTS) has been selected to receive a $300,000 grant from The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) as part of an effort to increase the economic mobility of workers in retail and adjacent sectors in central Minnesota and around the U.S.

The Central Minnesota Workforce Development Board is one of 10 Workforce Development Boards (WDBs) selected across the country to collectively form and implement new models of career services specific to retail – models that will serve as best practices for the approximately 550 WDBs in the U.S. that already provide career services, such as career coaching, soft skills training, specialized skills training and referrals to other resources. The funding is part of a $10.9 million grant the Walmart Foundation made to The Partnership in March 2016.

“Our collaborative effort with The Partnership, central Minnesota business leaders and government officials, and the nine other selected WDBs will allow us to foster workforce training innovation in a sector that WDBs have not traditionally focused on – retail,” said Barbara Chaffee, CMJTS CEO. “With the retail industry supporting one in four American jobs, this grant presents a tremendous potential for impact, from entry-level to middle skills jobs. The goal of this grant is to create clear career paths in retail for hundreds of workers, providing skills training and new approaches to accelerate career advancement, said Chaffee.

CMJTS will provide a variety of services to individuals in central Minnesota including:

  • job readiness training customized to the retail sector, including helping jobseekers acquire the “soft skills” that are critical for workplace success such as teamwork, leadership, communication and conflict resolution;
  • industry-specific certifications and work-based training opportunities; and
  • job placement assistance, resume writing help, and interviewing skills workshops.

Among the services CMJTS will offer employers are:

  • serving as a point of contact for retail employers in the area for recruiting and training opportunities, including career tracks such as sales, customer service, logistics, merchandising/buying and management;
  • customized recruiting and screening and assistance in writing job descriptions for new positions; and
  • employee retention assistance and improving the supply of qualified job candidates. 

“As one of the largest provider of jobs for the American workforce, the retail industry presents many opportunities for workers to grow and thrive,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Through our work with The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, we are helping ensure that retail workers have the skills, training, and education needed to build long-lasting careers.”

In February 2015, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation committed $100 million over five years to strengthen the skills of the broader U.S. workforce by funding programs to create career paths in retail and related industries and train thousands of workers outside of Walmart. The two-year grant to The Partnership is the largest investment to date as part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s Opportunity initiative, which aims to increase the economic mobility of workers in retail and adjacent sectors by working with nonprofits, educational institutions, and government agencies to make it easier for frontline workers to move faster into middle skills roles.

For more information about the grant awarded to the Central Minnesota Workforce Development Board visit http://workforceboard.org/about-us/funders-and-partners/grants/ orhttp://workforceboard.org/about-us/funders-and-partners/grants/wal-mart-foundation-grant/.

 The Central Minnesota WDB, along with the Central Minnesota Joint Powers Board, is responsible for the policy guidance and oversight of all job training and job placement activities in Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Pine, Renville, Sherburne, and Wright Counties.  Since its beginning in 1984 as Private Industry Council 5, CMJTS has been passionate about providing quality training and job placement services to customers in central Minnesota. Throughout its 11-county region, jobseekers—adults, youth, entry-level, career-changers, low-income, and dislocated workers—count on CMJTS for professional career guidance based on their individual circumstances, economic self-sufficiency needs, and local labor market demands. Businesses count on CMJTS for qualified workers to fill their jobs.



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