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NHPA’s Retail Management Certification Program 2022 Class Breaks Record for Graduating Students

The North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) celebrated the 2022 graduating class of its Retail Management Certification Program in February. With 34 graduating retailers from all across the U.S. and Canada, the class was the largest in the program’s nine-year history. 

The virtual graduation ceremony represented the culmination of more than six months of hard work and college-level classes covering multiple facets of retail management. The record number of students attending highlights the importance retail operations are placing on investing in their leadership. 

“Given the challenges our industry has been facing over the past couple of years, this group of graduates is exceptional,” says Scott Wright, NHPA executive director of advanced retail education programs. “These students completed their course work while dealing with the issues facing every retailer—supply chain issues, employee shortages and an increase in business activity that kept them busier than usual at their stores. Still, they realized the importance of investing in their retail education to gain the knowledge and skills they need to lead their organizations forward. The recent challenges facing our industry have heightened our awareness of the need to develop well-equipped leaders.”

The Retail Management Certification Program is the only home improvement industry program that prepares owners and high-potential employees with profit-focused store operations training. This six-month retail training program is designed to allow students and their stores to see a return on investment (ROI) through class training and homework, quick wins and an individual business improvement project that focuses on solving a problem or capitalizing on a missed opportunity in the business.

Retail Management Certification Program students often form friendships that last beyond the classroom, providing them with a network of fellow retailers for sharing ideas and asking questions that can last the duration of their careers.

At the end of the course, the students present their business improvement projects—which will be implemented at the businesses where they work—to a room of their peers, business owners and a panel of expert judges.

Some students are able to participate in the program using scholarship funds. Scholarship sponsors for the 2022 class include Do it Best, Intertape Polymer Group (IPG), Wooster Brush, STIHL, Midwest Fastener, Simple Green, Home Hardware, True Value, Arrow Fastener, Benjamin Moore, Sakrete and the National Hardware Show

Retail Management Certification Program Best in Class Award

During the graduation ceremony, Wright also presented Ian Williams, COO and store manager at Fresno Ag Hardware in Fresno, California, with the program’s Best in Class Award. The award was created in 2020 in memory of former Aubuchon Hardware CEO Marcus Moran Jr. Moran was involved in the initial design of the program before it launched in 2013, and also served as an instructor. The award in his honor is given to a student who demonstrates the qualities of leadership, humility, compassion and a dedication to excellence that Moran embodied. 

“Ian has a contagious enthusiasm and authentic leadership style that brought everyone in the class together,” Wright says. “He was fully invested in the business improvement project, the final project of the class, which while it was huge in scope, will provide an incredible ROI for his company.” 

“I am very appreciative of this award and the learning experience NHPA has given me,” Williams says. “I can’t thank NHPA enough for really making this program fun, entertaining and informative.”

Congratulations to Members of the 2022 Retail Management Certification Program Graduating Class

Build Your Bench and Boost Profits

NHPA is currently accepting applications for the 2023 RMCP class. Interested retailers can contact Scott Wright, NHPA executive director of advanced retail education programs, at swright@yournhpa.org.

 

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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