Goodwill’s Retail Skills Training Program focuses on training for individuals who have the goal of obtaining competitive employment in the retail industry and other customer service fields.

This curriculum-based program provides students with the practical knowledge, skills, and abilities related to entry-level retail positions that will enable students to segway into a career in retail or other customer service fields. Training is informed in partnership with CVS Health and the National Retail Foundation.

The two-week program takes place Monday-Friday during the day and consists of both classroom and hands-on training. Week 1 takes place at a retail skills lab within Goodwill’s Workforce Development Center in Lawrenceville. Week 2 is contingent upon successful completion of Week 1 and takes place at a community-based worksite.

Labor Market Information:

The Retail Skills Training Program prepares students to pursue entry-level retail or service positions such as clerk, cashier, attendant, sales associate, or salesperson. The schedule for this type of work may include evenings and weekends. The skills gained through training are building blocks, which may be built upon through experience to pursue advanced retail and service occupations such as supervisors or sales representatives.

Program Model:

The course material is organized into the following sections:

  • Welcome to Retail: Program introduction, uniforms, store teams, positive attitude assessment.
  • Essentials of Retail Customer Service: Customer service principles and basic register skills.
  • Understanding & Assisting Customers: Handling upset customers, understanding needs, non-verbal communication, and the customer experience.
  • Workplace Etiquette & Skills: Phone etiquette, intercom etiquette, plan-o-grams, reading labels.
  • Retail Recap & Job Seeking: Role playing, retail job applications, I-9 paperwork.

Job Readiness

Students attend curriculum-based classes aimed at assessing and developing appropriate work attitudes, behaviors and skills for employment in the retail industry. Students may be eligible for additional support services. Students seeking employment immediately after completion are eligible for support through Goodwill’s Career Service Center. Services available include job searching, applications, mock interviewing, and more.

Program Completion:

Training Objectives:
Students will demonstrate the following:

  • Skills: Essentials of cashiering, stocking and merchandising, customer service.
  • Workplace Competencies: Teamwork, professionalism, customer services, sales, and merchandising.
  • Knowledge: Customer service, clerical, numeracy and money handling, and inventory management.

Course Completion Requirements:
Students must complete 50 hours of the program.

Available Credential/Certification:

  • Retail Industry Fundamentals Certification from the National Retail Federation Foundation
  • CVS Health Register Certification

Eligibility and Service Availability

Students must be at least 18 years of age, must be eligible to work in the U.S., must read and write at a 5th grade level or higher, must be able to perform basic arithmetic and counting, and must be able to lift up to 35 pounds. Final determinations are made after completing an application and interview with the program management and staff. The student’s start date is determined by training position availability.

For individuals not connected with a service provider, self-pay options are available. Please call for more information on self-pay or to learn how to connect with a qualified service provider.

To learn more, contact:

Goodwill’s Welcome Center
Phone: 1-877-499-3526 Email:

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