Why Retail?

  • 71% of hiring managers appreciate employees with retail experience*
  • 60% of retail store employees are promoted within 10 months of being hired into an entry-level position*
  • On average, retail workers between the ages of 25-54 make $38K per year*

Are you ready for a change in life? Register for the Lives Empowered Training Academy. The training offered through Lives Empowered is at no cost to you to help advance your career goals. This initiative is provided by the Colorado Workforce Development Council with support from Walmart.

Whether you’re looking to move up in the retail, hospitality, or food and beverage industries or use your skills to transition into a new industry, the credentials provided through the Lives Empowered Training Academy will provide you with the knowledge you need to succeed.

Accessible online through Penn Foster, these training programs provide flexibility to learn at a pace that's right for you. All students will receive best-in-class support services from Penn Foster faculty, staff, and coaches. Explore the options below and enroll today!

*Source: NRF Foundation

Training Opportunities

Career Readiness Bootcamp

The Career Readiness Bootcamp program will teach you key fundamental soft skills needed for all professions, from using core technology tools to understanding professional etiquette. Learn about communication skills, planning and organization, productivity tools, decision-making, and teamwork -- the skills you need to stand out in any job.

Program Details

Who is this for?

First time job seekers, individuals re-entering the workforce, part-time employees who want to successfully launch their career


20 hours

Retail Industry Fundamentals Credential

Retail Industry Fundamentals is a 10-lesson program from the National Retail Federation Foundation’s RISE Up initiative that allows you to explore the business of retail, customer service, sales, and merchandising. Learners will develop best practices for interviewing and explore career paths. Enroll in this program if you're starting a new or first job, and/or need to enhance your workplace readiness skills.

Program Details

Who is this for?

First time job seekers, individuals re-entering the workforce, cashiers, front desk clerks, housekeepers and individuals exploring careers who want to learn more about opportunities for advancement


5 hours

Customer Service & Sales

Learners who earn the Customer Service & Sales credential will be able to show they have mastered the ability to engage with customers effectively, close sales, assess customer needs, and demonstrate other vital customer service and sales skills. Through this course learners will also understand how to build a stand out resume. This course is perfect for someone who works in a customer facing role.

Program Details

Who is this for?

Anyone who interacts with customers in their job


14 hours

Business of Retail: Operations & Profit

If you’re interested in advancing your career, this course will cover best practices for how to plan for a career and how to get promoted. Master concepts related to profits and discounts, marketing, store operations, and workplace safety.

Program Details

Who is this for?

Individuals who have been working in retail and want to make the jump to management


11 hours

How do I enroll in a program?

After reviewing the programs listed on this page, click on the "Enroll Now" button to fill out the enrollment request form. After your request has been reviewed and approved, you will receive a welcome email with instructions on how to log into the online learning portal to start your program.

Can I enroll in multiple programs at once?

No, you may only enroll in one program at a time. To enroll in the next program, you first must finish your current program.

If I don't like the program I enrolled in, can I switch?

You may cancel or change a program by contacting Penn Foster by phone at 800-231-3054 or by email at clientsupport@pennfoster.edu to formally process a cancellation, and then you will have to re-enroll through the application process into your new program of choice.

How do I access the courses?

All course content will be delivered through Penn Foster's Student Portal. You will have access to your course content upon logging into the Portal for the first time.

What are the benefits of online learning?

We know you have a busy schedule. By delivering these programs online on a mobile-friendly platform, you are offered the flexibility to learn when and where you want. Furthermore, our programs are self-paced so you can move through the content at a speed that's right for you.


What is Lives Empowered?

Lives Empowered brings together retail businesses interested in working collaboratively to increase economic mobility for frontline workers across Colorado and contribute to a strong economy. Lives Empowered is made possible by a $4.1 million grant from Walmart to the Colorado Workforce Development Council. Learn more about Lives Empowered.

What is Penn Foster?

Penn Foster is a leader in online education, offering career training solutions for in-demand careers. These programs are offered online and can completed at a pace that's comfortable for you. As a Penn Foster learner, you also receive 24/7 access to a supportive online community of students and faculty.

What is the NRF Foundation?

As the philanthropic arm of the National Retail Federation, the NRF Foundation builds the bridge between a growing industry with hundreds of thousands of open positions and job seekers around the country. Through education, training, scholarships and experiences for job seekers of all ages and backgrounds, we help more people take their first steps toward promising careers.