Educators seek customer service credentials—Rise Up fits the bill

Aug 18, 2022
Written by WR Communications

Gretchen Maliska, Shelton SD’s CTE Director; Teri Pablo, Yelm Community School’s CTE Director; Brad Hooper, North Thurston SD’s CTE Director; Paula Perryman, Olympia SD’s CTE Director; Rose Gundersen, WR’s VP of Operations & Retail Services. The red pins on the wooden Washington State map indicate the school district of each of the booth visitors.


WR and the National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation participated at the Washington Association of Technical Education (ACTE) Summer Conference held in Spokane this week.

With retail as the second largest employment sector in Washington State, it is a top priority for WR and the NRF Foundation to reach teachers on the availability of RISE Up training options and the diverse pathways retail jobs can offer.

At the conference, Rose Gundersen, WR’s VP of Operations and Retail Services, took the opportunity to network with teachers and representatives of student organizations such as DECA and FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America.)

Business and marketing teachers from roughly 40 school districts visited the NRF/WR booth and gathered information on resources such as SAFEME certifications. Most of these teachers agree there is a need for credentialed courses, especially training on customer service and sales, which is foundational in all careers. There was also interest in the three additional courses through RISE Up.  Those courses focus on Retail Industry Fundamentals, Business of Retail, and, Warehouse, Inventory & Logistics.

Tanya Torres Steen, a Bethel School District CTE Business and Marketing Teacher, shared that over 20 of her students completed the Retail Industry Fundamentals course online. The Industry Recognized Credential (IRC) list released the week before the conference did not include RISE Up, which is unfortunate because only courses listed by the IRC can allow teachers to offer them to their students with funding support.

WR will continue partnering with the NRF Foundation to work with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) to get RISE Up courses approved through the IRC process.


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