A Long-Term Leg Up for Entry-Level Workers

Published mar. 04, 2015

This blog was originally posted on Walmart's blog.

No matter where we are in the workforce, there’s one thing we all have in common: Everyone started somewhere. On the other hand, the factors that influence where we’re able to go next are countless. Skills and certifications rank toward the top when it comes to advancement. But in retail, the opportunity for gaining those can often be unclear.

The transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL) industry is a long overlooked, but increasingly critical piece of the retail sector—and the nation’s economic recovery. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that transportation and warehousing employment alone will grow by 20% over this decade, adding 856,000 jobs.

Jobs for the Future is an organization that works to strengthen and expand career pathways that train underprepared workers and the unemployed to move into middle-skill positions in high-demand sectors. So we are thrilled to be one of seven grant recipients from Walmart and the Walmart Foundation to help thousands of entry-level workers across the country launch family-supporting careers.

Funded by a $3 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, JFF is joining with workforce partnerships and employers to provide TDL job training, support, and placement services to 300 people in each of 10 regional labor markets.

In order to open more opportunities for women in these traditionally male-dominated occupations, each program has committed to serving at least 25 percent female participants. We will provide targeted technical assistance to help recruit women to learn truck driving, warehouse management and other TDL jobs to reach this goal.

Not only is our program helpful for local businesses that need to fill a growing number of middle-skill jobs, but middle-skill TDL positions can offer entry-level workers a real chance to join the middle class. They typically pay a middle-income wage, offer benefits, and provide opportunities for advancement.

By helping entry-level workers move into these positions, we’re giving them a leg up on a long-term career.

Photo copyright iStockphoto/carebott 2009

Read our press release about this work.