Our History

Founded in 2014, CFR was formed from the innovative thinking of community leaders committed to improving the lives of retail workers. With the support of Make the Road New York, RWDSU, and GOLES,  CFR has been able to create impactful change in the retail industry.



  • CFR as an organization forms and chooses Make the Road NY as its fiscal sponsor.
  • CFR joined partners at the New York Union Child Care Coalition, the Consortium for Worker Education, and A Better Balance to establish a child care subsidy facilitated enrollment pilot program for working parents in Herald Square, providing child care subsidies and quality care in New York City for children up to 13 years of age.
  • NYS Governor and New York State Department of Labor proposed rules to regulate payroll cards, prohibiting employers from forcing workers to accept their wages on payroll cards.


  • CFR and coalition partners in the NYC Coalition to Stop Credit Checks in Employment saw Mayor de Blasio sign legislation banning employers from checking job applicants’ credit histories when making a hiring decision, the “Stop Credit Discrimination in Employment Act.
  • The office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigated whether on-call shifts violated the labor law in New York. Many workers who report to work for a scheduled shift are entitled to at least four hours of pay at minimum wage, even if they are sent home. Schneiderman sent letters to thirteen major retail companies warning that they may be violating the law, and many of those retailers have fallen into line.


  • CFR served 4,104 clients, with 3,555 completed enrollments through the healthcare exchange.
  • CFR and partners educated retail workers about the importance of health care through social media and strategic direct outreach in stores from Fifth Avenue to Fordham Road in the Bronx to downtown Brooklyn.
  • CFR and partners continued to provide various training to help retail workers thrive.


  • CFR launched the Pathways to Success report with the Urban Justice Center that identified training initiatives to help retail workers move up the corporate ladder.


  • CFR officially applied for nonprofit (501c3) status with the federal government.
  • CFR hires a long-time executive director.
  • CFR and RAP are awarded a $100,000 contract from the Regional Economic Development Corporation and NYS Department of Labor to provide training.

How would you like to help CFR achieve its goals in 2019?