Meijer has partnered with Grand Rapids Community College to create a new Retail Management Certificate program
Meijer is joining Walmart and other retailers in looking for ways to keep employees happy in a tight labor market.
The retailer has partnered with Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) to create a new Retail Management Certificate program that will provide employees with the relevant skills and competencies needed to advance their careers.
Eighteen employees who have been with Meijer for at least a year will participate in the pilot this fall. All of the classes are in a seven-week format, allowing the employees to complete the certificate in a year.
“Our team members are vital to our company’s success, and we remain committed to investing in their professional development,” said Todd Weer, SVP of stores for Meijer. “This newest partnership with Grand Rapids Community College provides a great opportunity to help our team members achieve their educational goals and advance their careers.”
The first two classes, organizational behavior and accounting, are being taught by GRCC faculty at Meijer headquarters in Walker, Mich. The employees will take the rest of the curriculum -- which includes courses in business communication and business management -- online. Meijer will cover the employees’ tuition, fees and books for the first course, and also offer an educational reimbursement program to defray the cost of the full program.
Employees who complete the certificate, which is recognized by the Western Association of Food Chains and endorsed by the Food Marketing Institute, will be encouraged to continue their studies for an associate of business degree.
Meijer has partnered with GRCC on other projects. The Meijer Center for Business, located in the college's Raleigh J. Finkelstein Hall, provides computer labs, small- and large-group collaboration spaces, a board room, a business center for faculty use, and student study areas. Meijer employees have also served as guest lecturers, adjunct faculty and advisory committee members.
Earlier this week Walmart announced that it will offer employees college benefits to help them earn degrees in sought-after health care fields. Its 1.5 million associates in the United States can now apply for one of seven bachelor’s degrees and two career diplomas in health-related fields for $1 a day through the mega-retailer's Live Better U education program.
Meijer operates more than 240 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The company is No. 7 on Progressive Grocer's 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.