Essential Services







CFR provides retail workers with essential services for learning retail sector skills, skills for navigating the retail job search, acquiring jobs, and advancing along the retail career ladder.

Workforce Development

CFR’s Workforce Development program provides workers with regular trainings and workshops in retail sector skills to support them in succeeding in frontline retail positions.  Our classes are embedded with workers’ rights education and prepare workers to perform well at work, seek career pathways, and identify and address unfair and unsafe work conditions. Our programming includes:

Sector Skill Trainings

  • In the Retail Practical Lab, participants develop practical communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills that enable job seekers with no experience to enter the industry and succeed as customer service representatives. The class utilizes role plays, case studies, small group activities and instructional and reflective learning, to share and learn best practices and drill down into every aspect of providing excellent customer service.
  • All classes cover workers’ rights as New Yorkers, job seekers, and employees, and thoroughly review employer and employee expectations.

Next Level Retail Job Search Workshop

  • At CFR’s Job Search Workshops, retail workers and job seekers learn to navigate the retail job search, and build skills in  job search tips and tricks to get connected to positions at top retail companies.

Next Level Retail Hiring Clinics

  • Our Next Level Retail clinics offer an overview of the fundamentals of customer service within the context of cultivating a job search strategy, including the writing, communication, and critical thinking skills necessary for both acquiring and being successful at a retail job. 
  • After this training, participants are connected to employment opportunities being offered by retailers in our network, either through a Workforce1 Career Center or through a direct partnership with an employer.

Wrap-Around Services

As low-wage workers lacking access to benefits such as health insurance, paid leave, and child care support, training and access to employment opportunities is insufficient for allowing retail workers to thrive. CFR is building a program of comprehensive wrap-around services to support retail workers holistically.

Retail Workforce Pipelines

CFR’s research and employer relationships keep us abreast of industry trends and the needs of employers and workers alike, and are enabling us to develop a job pipeline connecting our trained workers to high-quality employment.

CFR has been working with the HireNYC program of the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development to connect our students to local job opportunities at companies who benefited from City subsidies, including the Empire Outlets outlet mall in Staten Island. We plan to continue building on this work in the years to come.