Renée Sunde, President/CEO
September 2018 marks the 2nd “Careers in Retail” month and the Washington Retail Association is proud to partner with the Thurston County Chamber of Commerce as they host their September Forum on Wednesday, September 12.
This exciting event will be held at the Capital Mall in Olympia and will celebrate the mall’s 40 Year anniversary. Representing the nation’s largest private sector employer, retail supports one in every four jobs. In 2017 Washington’s retailers produced $155.3 billion in taxable sales and $19.8 billion in wages.
Although the retail industry is experiencing massive change and transformation, the growth of retail continues to set pace with the state’s low unemployment rate and strong consumer confidence.
Just as the industry continues to experience rapid change the job opportunities associated with an exciting career in retail continue to evolve. Technology is carving out new career paths in e-commerce, web and app development and information technology.
The industry offers a broad diversity of options from entry-level part-time work to management and executive positions. Today, more and more retail employers are offering training or tuition assistance to turn a job into a career.
The event’s keynote address will feature Lisa Bridge, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ben Bridge Jeweler. In 2015, Ben Bridge launched the Lisa Bridge Collection, a fashionable jewelry collection designed by Lisa.
Lisa graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis and obtained her Graduate Gemologist degree in residence at the Gemological Institute of America. A fifth generation in the company, Lisa honors the heritage of Ben Bridge while driving it towards future growth.