In 2016, the ACT Foundation merged with ACT’s Office of Underserved Learners to form ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning. The Center is focused on closing gaps in equity, access, and opportunity for underserved and working learners through partnerships, research, and initiatives.
The National Retail Services Initiative (NRSI) is a $2,265,000 capacity building, systemic investment from Walmart which includes three elements:
- The National Retail Services Competency Model, an Interactive Next Generation Technology Platform, and Planning Partnerships. The National Retail Services Competency Model (NRSCM) was created by the National Retail Services Advisory Council and is intended to serve as a cross-sector retail services competency model. It was completed in February 2016.
- The second element, an Interactive Next Generation Technology Platform, took form as SEEK, an online career mapping resource linking working learners, employers and learning providers. SEEK was created in partnership with Innovate +Educate.
- Finally, ACT sought to activate planning partnerships with employers to develop and design “Hiring for Competency” tools to help implement the new competency model. This work resulted in the National Retail Services Initiative Competency Model Implementation Toolkit. This work was presented in October 2016 at the I Am Retail Summit in Dallas Texas, where associations and employers released the models and strategic plans, discussed lessons learned from the project, and held panel discussions wrapped around Hiring for Competency in the retail sector.