Denver wins grant to strengthen retail industry

The Denver Office of Economic Development is getting a $422,652 from The Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership grant to strengthen retail industry career services. 

Denver is one of 10 cities across the country to form and implement new models of career services specific to retail that will serve as best practices for the roughly 550 Workforce Development Boards in the United States that provide career services such as coaching, soft-skills training, specialized-skills training and referrals to other resources. The funding is part of a $10.9 million grant the Walmart Foundation made to the workforce partnership in March.

"Helping create local jobs for local residents is a priority for us, and we're thrilled to receive this grant that will equip us to better support struggling residents who are working hard to get back to work," says Mayor Michael Hancock. "This is a great opportunity to grow good entry-level and middle-skill jobs in a sector that plays a significant role in Denver's economy, and we're ready to work with businesses to develop clear career paths in retail, while providing skills training and new approaches to accelerate career development."

The Denver grand funding will provide a variety of services to job seekers, including:
  • Job readiness training customized to the retail sector, including helping jobseekers acquire the soft skills that are critical for workplace success such as teamwork, leadership, communication and conflict resolution
  • Job placement assistance, resume writing help and interviewing skills workshops
  • Post placement services to promote job retention
Among the services OED will offer employers are:
  • Serving as a point of contact for retail employers in the area for recruiting and training opportunities, including career tracks such as sales, customer service, logistics, merchandising/buying and management
  • Customized recruiting and screening and assistance in writing job descriptions for new positions
  • Employee retention assistance and improving the supply of qualified job candidates
Contact Confluence Denver Development News Editor Margaret Jackson with tips and leads for future stories at

Read more articles by Margaret Jackson.

Margaret is a veteran Denver real estate reporter and can be contacted here.
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