Many workforce development organizations have expertise in supportive strategies that help people succeed at work. By learning how to translate these practices to their business partners, workforce organizations can provide greater value to employers – helping improve their management practices, reduce turnover costs, and create better jobs.
This profile documents how YouthBuild Philly partners with retail businesses like Gap Inc. and Brown’s Superstores Inc. — ShopRite! to shape the workplace experiences of the young people the organization serves. YouthBuild Philly translates its internal culture of respect and belonging into training and capacity-building services for front-line retail supervisors. Businesses report that the supportive practices supervisors learn are useful for improving engagement and retention across their entire workforce.
Our profile highlights three key practices YouthBuild Philly uses that other organizations can adopt to engage retail businesses and strengthen equity, inclusion, and retention:
- Identifying “good-fit” business partnerships that set young people up for success
- Strengthening front-line management through coaching and feedback
- Providing customized training to help business partners institutionalize supportive culture and management
Reimagine Retail, an initiative of the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program funded by the Walmart Foundation, has explored ways to enhance job quality and improve mobility for the retail workforce. In Philadelphia, we partnered with five workforce organizations – Philadelphia Youth Network, the Job Opportunity Investment Network, JEVS Human Services, YouthBuild Philadelphia, and District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund – focused on connecting youth and young adults to employment.
This report is part of a series on promising workforce strategies from across the Reimagine Retail network. We’re excited to share valuable lessons from work on the ground by local Reimagine Retail partners across the country.
The Economic Opportunities Program advances strategies, policies, and ideas to help low- and moderate-income people thrive in a changing economy. Join our mailing list and follow us on social media to stay connected to our work, including events, publications, blog posts, and more.