AUGUSTA — The Retail Association of Maine announced that it has formed a partnership with the National Retail Federation Foundation and the nonprofit group Jobs for Maine’s Graduates to provide the Foundation’s RISE Up training and credentials to students throughout the state.

“We are excited to bring RISE Up to Maine and are thrilled to be working with JMG as one of our first Maine partners,” Retail Association of Maine President and CEO Curtis Picard said in a news release from the association. “JMG does an excellent job preparing Maine’s young people to be career ready and RISE Up will provide Mainers with a marketable and relevant retail industry credential. The Retail Association of Maine has a strong relationship with the National Retail Federation and the NRF Foundation and RISE Up was created by retailers to help address a real workplace issue. RISE Up will help Maine retailers provide both potential and existing employees the skills they need for the ever-changing retail environment.”

JMG will deliver training for the Retail Industry Fundamentals credential to students at four schools: Lewiston Region Technical Center, Waterville High School, South Portland High School and Mount View High School. Nearly 70 students will take part in the training and JMG plans to grow the program to include more students later this year.

“JMG’s primary goal is to prepare students to be successful in the workplace, and to expose them to a variety of career pathways,” JMG President and CEO Craig Larrabee said, according to the release. “We are excited to team up with the NRF Foundation to bring this opportunity to our students. The RISE Up program will be a great way for our young people to gain the added education and credentials they will need to stand out and succeed in the retail industry.”

The Retail Industry Fundamentals credential prepares participants for jobs as entry-level retail associates in distribution centers, call centers and stores. The training is designed to provide a wide array of knowledge in areas like retail tools and technologies, customer service, retail math, inventory and interview skills.

“Retail is an industry of opportunity and Maine’s diverse retail sector supports an abundance of jobs vital to the local economy,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said, according to the release. “We’re eager to see RISE Up take root in Maine to help would-be workers launch promising careers in our thriving industry and to meet the workforce needs of local retailers.”

For more information, visit or call 623-1149.

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