New Retail Skills Training Program Launches at GCI

  • Alison Cate |
  • | News

Goodwill of Central Iowa has recently launched a new retail skills training program to help individuals facing barriers to employment find positions in the retail industry.

The first class of our new Retail Skills Training Program. From left to right: Alejandro, Heather, Lanisha and Beau, with Skills Trainer Rodney Tomlinson in the back.


  • Seven- to eight-week program
  • Monday—Thursday 8:00am—2:00pm
  • Classes are held at Goodwill of Central Iowa headquarters in Johnston
  • Program includes paid, hands-on training in a Goodwill retail store
  • Successful completion of program will include a nationally recognized retail certification – RISE Up

The Retail Industry Fundamentals credential helps train and advance both entry-level retail associates and first-time job seekers. It is an industry-led and validated program that focuses on five core areas:

  • Basic work fundamentals
  • The business of retail
  • Customer focus
  • Getting and keeping jobs in retail
  • Selling

Trainees will learn about the following retail topics:

  • Customer Service
  • Pricing Items
  • Display arrangement
  • Stocking shelves and racks
  • Merchandise inventory
  • Sales techniques
  • Cash register/Point of sale
  • Workplace safety
  • Resume Building

Trainees will also learn soft skills as needed including conflict management, time management, communication, grooming/hygiene, following workplace rules, taking responsibility, problem-solving, goal-setting and working with a positive attitude.

The instruction methods and activities for this training program include:

  • Rehearsing and practicing skills
  • Classroom discussions
  • Roleplaying
  • Large and small group activities
  • Worksheets and handouts
  • Demonstrations
  • Hans-on work in retail stores and inventory processing area
  • Evaluations and instructor feedback

The expected outcomes for this program will be:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in retail skills related to community based employment
  • Demonstrate understanding of employment readiness skills and job retention skills
  • Increase awareness of customer service skills and workplace safety issues
  • Demonstrate understanding of the Goodwill retail clerk position


  • Completion of coursework within designated time
  • Being present and on time for each day of training
  • Demonstrated proficiency in retail skills related to gaining employment
  • Pass final exams

Course extensions may be made on a case-by-case basis, when deemed necessary by the trainer or the team.

For more information on this training opportunity, please contact Kevin Lord, intake and benefits coordinator, via email or phone (515-265-5323 ext. 220).


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