WASHINGTON Gap Inc. announced that it has joined the White House initiative Skills for America’s Future, a new public-private partnership focused on work force development and job placement for community college students. The fashion retailer said it 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.
“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. “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 said it expects to hire up to 1,200 students from community colleges in 2011, which represents approximately 5% 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.