(Columbus – January 18, 2024) Dublin City Schools has been recognized by national retail leaders and Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted for their effort to improve high school students’ understanding of the workplace and the importance of obtaining foundational career skills.

Featuring a video about Dublin’s program, the 2024 RISE Up Partner of the Year award was presented in New York City Sunday January 14, in recognition of the school district’s success with the NRF Foundation’s RISE Up training and credentialing program. RISE Up is a school and business partnership that has been fostered by the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants, an organization that continues to successfully expand the program across Ohio.

“The NRF Foundation is honored to recognize Dublin City Schools for taking an innovative approach to connecting students to a variety of employers and retailers, ensuring its students are prepared for fulfilling and rewarding careers in retail and throughout their professional careers,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Adam Lukoskie said.

The program also earned praise from Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted, the leader of business development for the State of Ohio. “When I talk to businesses across the state, the number one issue they share is that they can’t find enough people with the skills needed to fill their jobs,” Husted said. “Through the RISE Up program, Dublin City Schools is collaborating with their business community and creating opportunities for their students to see first-hand what skills they will need to succeed in a career in their community.

“These experiences are invaluable,” Husted continued, “and I congratulate Dublin City Schools on this honor and for their work to better prepare our future workforce.”

Ohio Council of Retail Merchants President and CEO Gordon Gough added, “The RISE Up pathway to the workplace gives students foundational skills that will serve them well in a retail and wholesale industry career — or wherever their career path takes them.”

Through the RISE Up partnership, Dublin City Schools gives students real-world, firsthand experiences at distribution centers and retail locations where they learn skills such as customer service, sales skills, conflict resolution and the functions of marketing, business and supply chain.

“As a traditional school, we build a foundation. It’s up to our students, through experiences like RISE Up, to build upon that foundation,” Dublin City Schools Superintendent Dr. John Marschhausen said. “These experiences open doors, foster dreams and help kids think about a better tomorrow.”

“I teach retail to my students because retail has applications across many different career opportunities and fields,” concluded Mark Mousa, teacher and coordinator of the Young Professional Academy at Dublin City Schools. “The sky is the limit when it comes to opportunities with the RISE Up program and how it can help this generation of students learn real-world applications and better prepare themselves for their post-school careers.”

The 2024 NRF Foundation RISE Up Partner of the Year was celebrated at the NRF Foundation Honors co-hosted by President and CEO-Elect of Macy’s Inc. and NRF Foundation Board Chairman Tony Spring and Walmart U.S. President and CEO and NRF Board Chairman John Furner.

Launched in 2017, the NRF Foundation’s RISE Up program is currently offered by more than 3,500 partners nationwide.

About the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants

Founded in 1922, the Ohio Council of Retail Merchants is Ohio’s leading trade association for the retail and wholesale industries, which provides one in four Ohio jobs through more than 7,500 members statewide and serves millions of Ohioans daily.

About NRF

The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. nrf.com

About NRF Foundation

The NRF Foundation provides the skills and resources needed for a life-changing career. As NRF’s nonprofit 501(c)(3), we connect people to an industry that’s a great place to start and a great place to grow. Together, we help people build better lives and stronger communities.