Retail Workforce Analysis Report heard before House work session

Dec 7, 2023
Written by WR Communications


This week, the newly published Retail Workforce Analysis Report was heard before the House Post Secondary and Workforce Committee. This report is a direct result of the passing of HB 2019 in 2022 with bi-partisan sponsorship to promote retail workforce training.

WR is pleased about the interest in this topic, for the sound research conducted by Western Washington University’s Center for Economic and Business Research, and for the stakeholdering process led by the Workforce Training Board to develop this report.

The report generated retail sector mapping on the following areas: core skills and competencies, retail occupations and career pathways, in-demand professions, educational pathways, credential mapping, and training gaps identification. The research reviewed 126,121 retail job postings in Washington State to develop the mapping of pathways in an interactive web-based tool.

To further the promotion of retail workforce training, stakeholders agreed to two pathways to implement recommendations:

  • Education and/or industry standardization of credential programs such as uniform skills, common definitional criteria, and stackable credits that allow employees to build on education over time.
  • Industry identification of distinct skills requirements and offer of transparent employment outcomes. When education providers prioritize aligning credentials with industry needs, students and workers will be empowered to make informed choices on education and training. Alternative opportunities for employees to earn industry-recognized certifications and credentials through workplace experience will further retail career outcomes.

These pathways will require education providers and industry employers’ continuous engagement. WR will continue working with policymakers to engage stakeholders to develop pathways with the goal of implementing the report’s specific recommendations.


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