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Connecting With the Next Generation

In the June 2016 issue of Hardware Retailing magazine, we shared stories from five retailers about how they serve their communities. The retailers provided so much information and countless examples of how they are involved in their communities that we could not fit it all in the magazine, so we have provided the extra content below. To read more about how retailers are engaging with different generations in their communities, click here.

Job-Shadow Program Helps High School Students

In addition to the Workplace Integration for Young Adults and internship programs, Jerry’s Paint and Hardware in Narragansett, Rhode Island, also works with area high schoolers. Jerry’s participates in a job-shadow program with the local high school.

“We did it last year and plan to do it again next year,” says Rob Ferraro, co-owner of Jerry’s Paint and Hardware.

For the past four years, a guidance counselor at the high school has chosen a student to spend five to six hours a week shadowing Ferraro and observing his day-to-day routine in addition to working on-the-floor with employees. The guidance counselor knows students who may have an interest in this program and selects them for Ferraro. Sometimes the students are shy, and the guidance counselor uses this program to break them out of their shells.

“It’s a little less involved in terms of time, compared to the [college] intern we have, but very rewarding,” he says. “Some of the students have never assembled anything, but by the time they are done with the program they are building grills, following directions and have something to show when the day is done. A lot of younger folks don’t do hands-on projects now, they are not exposed to tools or hardware and so some of the skills we give them are life-long skills.”

 Inspire Teens to Volunteer

Orillia Home Hardware Building Centre in Ontario, Canada, also looks for ways to engage with kids and young adults in its stores.

Tables by Teens is an event the store does frequently, as a Change the World Event.

“Change the World is a province-wide initiative with the goal of engaging youth between the ages of 14 and 18 in volunteering,” an Orillia newspaper states.

“Last year, between our staff and builders, we cut 40-50 tables, and the teens helped build and sell them for $100 a piece,” says store owner John Locke. “My staff then delivered the tables to those who purchased them.” “The kids made $4,000 for youth programing in the area for a Saturday morning out in the parking lot,” and they will be doing this event again this year.

About Sara Logel

Sara Logel
As NRHA’s market research analyst, Sara conducts organic research and stays abreast of industry trends to help hardware retailers better run their business. Sara also contributes to editorial content in Hardware Retailing magazine. Sara received her B.S. in Marketing and Spanish from Butler University and, after graduation, began her career with NRHA. Sara enjoys traveling, being outdoors and exploring the city of Indianapolis.

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