Workforce Development Month: Industry-recognized Credentials Help Workers & Employers Thrive

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Sept. 21, 2021 - The sudden rise of Covid-19 spotlighted the need for accessible, affordable, and industry-driven training opportunities that can support an employee’s skill development and economic mobility. While many industries had the opportunity to adjust how work was being delivered, industries such as retail, hospitality, food and beverage, and tourism found themselves balancing an increased demand for service in their communities while maintaining the well-being of their workforce. 

Across Colorado, retail employers and their partners have been seeking opportunities to invest in frontline workers. Employers who lead with empathy by investing in skill development and in providing supportive services for employees can increase retention and employee satisfaction. One innovative method of validating valuable skills is industry-recognized credentials. These credentials are designed by employers and often involve a small time commitment from employees. 

The Lives Empowered Training Academy is an online platform providing industry-recognized credentials for frontline workers, and was designed with employees in mind. Each credential can be completed at the pace of the individual with support available from the CWDC and regional workforce centers. The online platform provides pre-paid industry-recognized credentials developed to help frontline workers enhance skills that will enable them to succeed at their job and advance in their careers. The credentials include:

  • Retail Industry Fundamentals
    • Specific skills being built include: communication, planning and organization, productivity, decision making, and teamwork.
  • Customer Service & Sales
    • Specific skills being built include: ability to engage with customers effectively, close sales, assess customer needs, and demonstrate other vital customer service and sales skills.
  • Business of Retail: Operations & Profit
    • Mastering concepts related to profits and discounts, marketing, store operations, and workplace safety.

While these credentials were designed with retail employers, the skills being validated are desirable across industries. This is illustrated in the results from the Colorado Bridging the Talent Gap campaign, which surveyed more than 500 employers in the state. According to the survey, across industries the top skills employers look for are:

  • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • Orientation to Detail 
  • Communication
  • Service Orientation
  • Critical Thinking 

The Lives Empowered Training Academy is designed for employees to gain these valuable skills employers are searching for. Employers and partners interested in sharing this opportunity can utilize this flyer, or direct individuals directly to the platform

For questions, please contact Bobbie Wolfe at

Lives Empowered brings together retail businesses interested in working collaboratively to increase economic mobility for frontline workers across Colorado and contribute to a strong economy. Lives Empowered is made possible by a $4.1 million grant from Walmart to the Colorado Workforce Development Council.