Gap Inc. Joins White House ‘Skills for America’s Future’ Initiative
Workforce Readiness Program ’Gap for Community Colleges’ Launches in Seven Cities
WASHINGTON, DC – Gap Inc. (NYSE: GPS) announced today that it has joined the White House initiative Skills for America’s Future, a new public-private partnership focused on workforce development and job placement for community college students. The fashion retailer will roll out a new pilot program entitled “Gap for Community Colleges” in seven cities, which will offer community college students strategic job- and career-building skills to help take advantage of potential job opportunities.
Skills for America’s Future will be announced today by President Obama at the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board (PERAB) public meeting. The program supports the President’s commitment to strengthen our nation’s community colleges and help rebuild the capacity and competitiveness of America’s workforce.
“We’re proud to participate in this important initiative and help college students build the foundation they need to grow and compete in the fast-changing, global retail industry,” said Glenn Murphy, Chairman and CEO of Gap Inc., who is attending the PERAB meeting. “Our in-house training materials will be made available to all community college students and applicable to many industries. This benefits students, employees and customers, and also allows us to support the federal government’s efforts to improve the economy.”
Beginning with Gap brand, the company will expand its community college partnerships, through a new program entitled “Gap for Community Colleges,” in seven new markets: Las Vegas; Denver; Houston; Atlanta; Detroit; Philadelphia and Washington, DC. The effort will include in-store job shadowing, interview and leadership training, and scholarships. Gap Inc. could expand the program to Gap stores in other markets, as well as to other divisions of the company: Old Navy; Banana Republic; Gap Outlet and Banana Republic Factory Stores.
Through Skills for America’s Future, Gap expects to hire up to 1,200 students from community colleges in 2011, which represents approximately five percent of its annual hiring. In addition, Gap Inc. will make its in-house curriculum and training materials available to community college students nationwide, which alone are worth $1 million.
The partnership with Skills for America’s Future fits with Gap Inc.’s efforts to invest in the communities where we do business through education and skills training. When founders Doris and Don Fisher opened their first Gap store more than 40 years ago, they believed that every young person should be prepared to succeed in college and in a career.
Other Gap Inc. programs that focus on improving opportunities for the American workforce, and helping to rebuild our nation’s economy, include:
• Community College Workforce Readiness and Recruiting Programs – Partnerships with various community colleges across the country to teach students resume writing and interview skills on campus, provide job shadowing and in-store business coursework, and recruit for store associate positions. This program also offers scholarships at participating community colleges.
• Gap Mentoring for Excellence in Employment (MEE) Program – A partnership with Columbus State Community College to host a two-week summer program focused on career exploration and skills development for employment, professional performance, productivity, and retention in the workplace.
• This Way Ahead – Our youth program that offers career exploration, job readiness training and paid internships in our Old Navy and Gap stores.
• Plan Ahead – An 18-week college and career awareness program in partnership with the Pearson Foundation for the San Francisco Unified School District. The program seeks to provide a rigorous course for all 9th graders that will be mandated by the district to help students be better prepared for life after high school and to keep them engaged in their education.
• Gap Inc. Leadership Initiative – A program to develop and support Gap Inc.’s non-profit partner organizations to be more effective leaders in the youth development field.
About Gap Inc.
Gap Inc. is a leading global specialty retailer offering clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, children, and babies under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Piperlime, and Athleta brands. Fiscal 2009 sales were $14.2 billion. Gap Inc. operates about 3,100 stores in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Ireland, and Japan. In addition, Gap Inc. is expanding its international presence with franchise agreements in Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East. For more information, please visit www.gapinc.com.
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