Want to learn more about the Retail Management Certificate Program? Join us for these upcoming webinars…

As a follow-up to the successful 2016 Retail Management Certificate Summit, the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) and Food Marketing Institute (FMI) are co-hosting informational webinars for retailers, state associations and community colleges.  Please click on the appropriate link below to register for one of these complimentary webinars.

RetailersRMC Toolkits
Tuesday, August 16th – 1pm ET
Register Now!

State Associations
Wednesday, August 17th – 1pm ET
Register Now!

Community Colleges
Thursday, August 18th – 1pm ET
Register Now!

And be sure to download the toolkits to use as a reference during the webinars.



Continuing to Upskill

Last April, our industry-driven Retail Management Certificate was formally recognized at the White House, during an important convening on Upskilling America, a call to action to help low-wage workers train for better jobs with bigger paychecks.

One-year later, 100 employers employing 5 million workers have upskilled tens of thousands of frontline workers. This includes the amazing work of our participating companies and our community college partners.  Retail Management Certificate participating companies represent a significant “employer voice”, and our commitment is directly in line with the President’s call to action to equip front-line workers with the skills they need to advance in their careers.

Read the latest update or visit the Upskill America website for more information.

View original blog post recognizing the WAFC and Retail Management Certificate.


California Grocers Association makes enhancements to their Tuition Reimbursement Program

The California Grocers Association (CGA) has announced enhancements to their Tuition Reimbursement Program.

Retail Management Certificate tuition and textbooks are eligible for reimbursement for any company that is a member of CGA.

cga-tuitionBrianne Page may be reached at: 916-448-3545 / bpage@cagrocers.com.

Smith’s President to Retire

Jay Cummins, President Smith's

After 44 years with The Kroger Co.’s Smith’s President Jay Cummins plans to retire on April 29, 2016. His successor will be announced at a later date.

Cummins began his Kroger career as a clerk in 1972 in Huntington Beach, California. In the following years, he served in positions of increasing responsibility in store and district management and in grocery merchandising for the company’s Food 4 Less.  In 2004, he was named president of the Food 4 Less division. Cummins was named president of the Mid-Atlantic division in 2007 before assuming his current role in 2014.

Cummins currently  serves on the board of the Western Association of Food Chains and is a champion for the Retail Management Certificate.

“Working with Jay Cummins is an honor. He is a key supporter of the Retail Management Certificate and we will miss his energy and enthusiasm. I’ll never forget traveling with him to three states to promote the Retail Management Certificate Program to his employees. He is always encouraging his employees to pursue their certificate,” said Cherie Phipps, WAFC – Director, Retail Management Certificate.

Read the full story online.

Nominations Open for 2016 Top Women in Grocery

Nominations are now being accepted for Progressive Grocer’s 2016 Top Women in Grocery awards program, which recognizes the integral role women play across all segments of the retail food industry.

This year marks Top Women in Grocery’s 10th anniversary, for a special commemorative celebration is being planned in late 2016. Additional details will be forthcoming as the date of the gala draws closer.

Nominations are open to women across all sectors of the grocery industry – for above-and-beyond achievements logged between April 2015 and March 1, 2016 – from the retailer/wholesaler and supplier/vendor communities in three categories:

Senior-level Executives (title of Vice President or higher)
Rising Stars (titles lower than Vice President)
Store Managers (titles of Store Manager, Store Director, Area/Region Director)

Deadline for applications is March 18, 2016.

Progressive Grocer will notify all winners/companies by April 29, 2016.

For more information or to nominate a 2016 Top Women in Grocery


Giving People The Tools To Do The Job Is Smart Business at K-VA-T

K-VA-T’s Director of Training, Barbara Thomas believes that giving people all the tools necessary to do the best job possible is vitally important. Wanting to give their employees the tools for success, Ms. Thomas began researching Retail Management Certificate Programs and quickly discovered the Retail Management Certificate created by the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) and endorsed by leading organizations such as the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and several state grocery associations. To get started, Ms. Thomas contacted Rob Ikard at the Tennessee Grocers & Convenience Stores Association and others in the industry to garner support for the WAFC’s Retail Management Certificate in Tennessee.

Currently, the program is awaiting final review and approval from Dr. Warren Nichols, vice chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents. The program is expected to launch in Tennessee later this year.

To learn more about the program in Tennessee, read the full article in the Shelby Report.

Congratulations to the 2015 Top Women in Grocery

In November 2015, a slate of 300 women hailing from some of the most admired organizations in the U.S. supermarket industry were named as 2015 Top Women in Grocery by Progressive Grocer. The Top Women in Grocery awards program recognizes the integral role women play across all areas of the dynamic retail food industry within the retailer and supplier communities in three sectors: Senior- Level Executives, Rising Stars and Store Managers.

See the full list of winners


Food Retail Myths

Food retailers are in business to serve their customers by providing safe, nutritious, affordable food and food safety is the number-one priority for supermarkets.  Unfortunately, sometimes myths and common misunderstandings about the way in which supermarkets do business occur. Thanks to our friends at FMI, they are busting those myths and telling the real story.

Common myths include:

MYTH: Grocery industry revenue is slowing.

MYTH: Nearly identical items may have different prices.

MYTH: Many grocery store jobs are low-paying and employment options at grocery stores are drying up in the U.S.

MYTH: Most Grocery Shoppers are Women.


Getting Ahead in Food Retail

The Retail Management Certificate was recently featured in a blog post on the Food Marketing Institute website as a program that supports career growth and aligns with the growing need for education beyond High School. Some key takeaways from the story:

According to the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • 68 percent of U.S. jobs by 2018—including the grocery industry—will require a credential, if not a degree.
  • In 2010, only 30 percent of adults ages 25 or older had a bachelor’s degree or higher and for those working in the grocery industry that number drops to only 14 to 20 percent.
  • Education is going to be key for those working in the food retail industry to progress their careers and for employers to retain quality talent.

Read the full story on FMI’s website.