Business Technologies - Retail

Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC) Joins with BMCC

Surviving in today's unpredictable, changing retail environment is like steering a fast-moving car down an unfamiliar road…. It won’t help to look in your rear-view mirror, or even at the car on your side. You have to be looking forward so you know what lies ahead. And you need to be properly equipped to deal with the changes successfully, or you might as well get off the road.

In order to get ahead – or even just keep up - employees in the retail industry are beginning to ask themselves, “Am I ready for what’s coming?” “What can I do to be prepared for the road ahead?”

In fact, most retail companies, including those in the grocery industry, are expressing a need for better-equipped employees. But, like so many other retailers, massive changes have dramatically affected their business and the skills required among their workforce. It is becoming clear that today’s sophisticated retail environment makes it unlikely that people will achieve their career goals without at least some college education.

This is why the Western Association of Food Chains (a major non-profit association serving the education needs of employees in the grocery industry) has partnered with Blue Mountain Community College to launch a new certificate program in retail management when the 2005 fall term classes start.

The WAFC’s member companies include Albertson’s, Associated Grocers, Fred Meyer, Haggen’s, Roth’s Family Market, Safeway, Cash & Carry, QFC and many others.

The coursework comprises ten courses, awarding college credits and a Certificate of Achievement for anyone who successfully completes the program. Courses include accounting, business writing and oral communications, computing, human resources, leadership, math, management, marketing and merchandising. (Source: Article excerpts taken from Cherie Phipps, Education Advisor to the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC), Spring 2005)

Retail Management

This less-than-one-year certificate represents skills identified by the retail industry, as represented by the WAFC (Western Alliance of Food Chains). It is a program of study for current retail employees and for students who would like to become retail employees. Many of the courses are transferable for those wanting to pursue advanced degrees in business management fields and further success in demanding retail commerce.

This program is recognized by WAFC retail employers and identifies skills that lead to professional growth, hiring, and advancement opportunities; it is a body of study that prepares the student for retail sales and management responsibilities; those who complete the program will be given preference in hiring, will be eligible for promotions, and will receive compensation to recognize their educational achievement.

This program not only provides students with tools that will help them achieve their career goals, but they also have the opportunity to earn a college certificate of achievement that is industry recognized.

Students who complete this program can transition easily into BMCC’s Business Administration Associate of Applied Science Degree or other degree programs.

For more information about this program contact Teresa Quesenberry at 541.278-5740 or by email at