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September 30, 2016

Walmart presents SDWP with ceremonial checkOn September 29, SDWP hosted a roundtable discussion among retail employers and workforce development professionals to introduce a new program for training and upskilling retail employees titled #ReimagineRetail.

SDWP recently announced the award of a $400,000 grant from The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership (The Partnership) as part of an effort to increase the economic mobility of workers in retail and adjacent sectors in San Diego County and around the U.S. The funding is part of a $10.9 million grant the Walmart Foundation made to The Partnership in March 2016.

For the purpose of the grant, “retail” is defined as employers who have a storefront, sell directly to consumers or run an e-commerce site. If a company falls within this definition, it may be eligible for the training funds.

Angela Wilson, Regional General Manager, Walmart Stores, Inc., spoke at the roundtable and presented SDWP with a ceremonial check. She spoke to the group about her own path in retail, starting out as a part-time cashier and working her way up to her current position. She credits mentorship and training in her advancement and encouraged those in attendance to utilize the training funds to increase retainment of employees and to build a strong workforce.

The group discussed challenges companies are having retaining retail talent and how the structure of the customized training program could help. Additional topics included: what positions would qualify for the grant, what skills training do employees need the most, best practices for creating upward mobility, and general HR management challenges.

“With the retail industry supporting one in four American jobs, this grant presents tremendous potential to impact retail workers (starting out or established) to grow in their current and future positions. The goal of this grant is to create clear career paths for hundreds of retail workers, providing skills training and new approaches to accelerate career advancement,” says Peter Callstrom, SDWP CEO.

For more information on the #ReimagineRetail program, contact



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