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Brookshire Grocery Co.’s (BGC) work with WAFC Retail Management Certificate Program has led to The National Council for Workforce Education (NCWE) recognizing Tyler Junior College (TJC) at the 2013 NCWE Exemplary Program Awards luncheon on Oct. 17 for implementing the first grocery industry association endorsed credential curriculum in the state of Texas.
BGC partnered with TJC in promoting this certificate to encourage professional development of its employee “partners.”
Led by the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC), the Retail Management Certificate was established in 2000 by industry leaders and educational representatives to provide credit-bearing college-level courses that provide workers key foundational skills that can be applied immediately in their workplace while earning an industry-recognized credential linked to success in the food business.
“Through WAFC and the Retail Management Certificate, we’ve been able to offer a very flexible, cost-efficient educational opportunity for our employees, many of whom have never been to college or are returning after many years,” said Rick Rayford, BGC’s president and CEO, who currently serves as secretary of the WAFC. “The classes empower our team by providing skills they can use immediately and that will help them advance their careers.”
The multi-course program also aligns with the National Retail Federation's Retail Competency Model which identifies the same competencies as foundational for the retail industry as a whole.
The newest WAFC community college partnership was formed in 2012 when the WAFC and BGC approached TJC to become the first community college in the state of Texas to implement the Retail Management Certificate. Tyler-based BGC, with more than150 stores in three states, has worked closely with TJC to promote the program and currently has approximately 175 employees enrolled.