The retail workforce bill (HB 2019) hearing at the House College and Workforce Committee on January 24 received unanimous support from both business and labor groups, including the Washington Build-Back Black Business Alliance. The essence of this bill is to convene stakeholders to identify and make recommendations on strategies to develop and increase courses, educational pathways, credentials, and trainings for frontline retail workers.
Members on the committee were impressed by the multitude of data demonstrating retail as an industry is vital to the state’s economy. Their questions reflected their curiosity about the effect of the digital transformation on frontline workers, and whether soft skills could be learned through training.
This bill highlights the need for training opportunities for entry-level jobs and incumbent frontline workers to further their upward mobility. Small retail employers will also benefit greatly when our state provides a pipeline of entry-level employees with job readiness skills including ecommerce training.