For Immediate Release

Credential Engine Announces National Retail and Hospitality Credentials Initiative

June 27, 2018 (Washington, D.C.)Credential Engine announced today a new national effort to identify, capture, and publish the full range of industry credentials currently available in the retail, hospitality, restaurant, lodging and related sectors as part of a National Retail and Hospitality Credentials Initiative. With six in 10 Americans having worked in retail at some point in their careers and 7.6 million jobs in the hospitality industry, these sectors have a tremendous impact on the United States labor market. This Initiative aims to bring clarity to a complex credential marketplace so that students, job seekers, workers, and employers are empowered to make more informed decisions about credential content, meaning, and value.

Funded through a grant by Walmart and in concert with the NRF Foundation (the philanthropic arm of the National Retail Federation), the National Restaurant Association, and the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), the Initiative aims to identify and publish data on retail and hospitality credentials—from badges and certificates to degrees, licenses, and everything in between—to the Credential Registry using a common language so that information can be better searched, differentiated, and understood.

“Credentials are a promising tool to enhance career pathways for workers in the retail industry by identifying and recognizing critical skills more consistently,” said Julie Gehrki, Vice President of Walmart Giving. “As employers move toward competency-based hiring, credentialing is one way to help workers validate the skills they’ve developed, and help employers identify the right talent. Through funding the National Retail and Hospitality Credentials Initiative, we hope to increase workers’ and employers’ knowledge of the credentials available in the sectors and the skills behind them.”

To support this project, Credential Engine, the NRF Foundation, National Restaurant Association, AHLA, and others have established a Retail and Hospitality Credentials Working Group that will rollout the initiative and assist in developing an inventory of sector-relevant credentials. The Working Group will also provide input on the development of applications that integrate retail and hospitality credential data into various tools, products, and resources so that the Registry’s data provides the greatest value.

“From the part-time sales associate at a local store on Main Street to an app developer for a major retailer, the retail industry directly employs 29 million Americans, making it the largest private sector-employer in the economy. Jobs in our industry offer a fresh start and way forward for millions of job seekers. Through education, training, credentials and experiences for people of all ages and backgrounds, the NRF Foundation helps more people take their first steps toward promising retail careers,” said Ellen Davis, NRF Foundation President. “We are excited to work with Credential Engine to promote the important role that training and credentials have in building a skilled retail workforce.”

“The hotel industry is in the business of people, serving our guests and providing lifelong careers for our employees. Indeed, we support some 8 million jobs around the country and work hard to advance the careers of employees through critical programs. The American Hotel & Lodging Association certifies employees in more than 20 disciplines, supporting our industry’s dynamic workforce along their entire career journey—from front desk to CEO,” said Shelly Weir, Senior Vice President of Career Development at the AHLA. “We look forward to working with Credential Engine to bring stronger visibility to credentials that best support the evolving needs of the hotel industry.”

“The National Restaurant Association offers a large portfolio of credentials and training to help upskill individuals and enhance business performance in the restaurant and hospitality industries. We work directly with the industry on the most critical skills needed for success and strive to bring more access for both individuals and employers to attract and retain qualified workers,” said Sara Anderson, the Association’s Director of Workforce Development. “We look forward to participating in this initiative to bring more visibility to the credentials and training programs our industry needs to continue to thrive.”

“Credential Engine is thrilled to launch this work in partnership with Walmart and other leading industry partners. By revealing the credential marketplace and creating credential transparency in these sectors, this Initiative will deliver more clarity for workers, job seekers, students, and employers,” says Scott Cheney, Executive Director of Credential Engine. “A transparent retail and hospitality credential marketplace gives workers access to better information on which credentials will help unlock economic opportunity and advance their careers. Employers will also be empowered with the data to help them determine which credentials will best fill their skills gaps and address their business needs.”

The Initiative will work with industry partners and credential issuers to reveal the diverse array of retail and hospitality credentials including colleges and universities, minority-serving institutions, high schools, certification and licensing bodies, apprenticeships, certificate providers, employers, and unions.

Credential Engine is actively looking for interested organizations to join the Retail and Hospitality Credentials Initiative and provide the industry with the data needed to prepare for the future of work. This project will commence in June and is currently slated to run through April 2019.


Credential Engine Communications Contact: Carrie Samson

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