The North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) has announced several program introductions and enhancements designed to help encourage diversity, inclusion and sensitivity within the home improvement retailing industry.
“Whenever we see communities facing challenges, whether it is from natural disasters, pandemics or even civil unrest, it is always the independent home improvement retailers who are front and center helping those communities rebuild,” says Bob Cutter, NRHA’s president and CEO. “We thought that by making some simple program enhancements and changes we could help ensure that these business owners help rebuild their communities both literally and figuratively.”
The association outlined the following commitments going forward:
NRHA will establish and maintain a scholarship for its Retail Management Certification Program designated to benefit a member of a minority class who demonstrates an interest in furthering their career in the home improvement industry. The NRHA Retail Management Certification Program is a college-level training program designed to prepare owners and high-potential employees with leadership, management and store operations training. NRHA will work with other industry organizations to promote the availability of the scholarship, identify potential candidates and begin to address the lack of diversity within the industry.
In addition to this scholarship, NRHA will add a culture and diversity awareness session to both the Retail Management Certification Program and the Foundations of Leadership training course.
“Since these programs are designed to help guide and educate future industry leaders, it is NRHA’s belief that this addition to the curricula will better equip future leaders to recognize issues of inequality or racism in the workplace and embrace the strengths that can come through building a diverse team,” Cutter says.
Finally, to cultivate and nurture a more understanding and diverse workplace within its own organization, NRHA will host internal staff training sessions from its partners at Taft Law. NRHA staff will also explore opportunities to seek out and promote minority leadership within the industry through NRHA and Hardware Retailing’s media outlets.
“I believe we need to hold up the values of compassion, empathy and equality for all as the foundation of how we conduct business and the principles of how we operate our association,” Cutter says. “We know that none of these actions will solve the systemic problems we are seeing in our country right now, but we want to play whatever small role we can to move our company, our members and the nation in a positive direction.”
For more information on NRHA or its training programs, visit nrha.org.