“Shopping” For Management Careers: Innovative Ridge Hill Academy Launches Spring 2015 Session
Ridge Hill shopping and entertainment center and Yonkers Partners in Education welcome new students to 5th session of career exploration program
YONKERS, NY – Wednesday, April 15, 2015 – High-Schoolers may think the only jobs at a shopping center are the ones behind the retail counter, but Ridge Hill Academy teaches them to think beyond the sales floor. In fact, it takes a village to run the kind of “public square” Ridge Hill shopping center in Yonkers has become. And it takes creative thinking to run a successful shopping and entertainment center that integrates with our modern technologically enhanced lifestyle.
Tuesday marked the start of the fifth session of Ridge Hill Academy (RHA), an innovative partnership between Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE) and Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC) that represents a tremendous investment in the future of the young people of Yonkers. The kick-off session was held at the WESTMED building at Ridge Hill. Students from local high schools, recent graduates of the course, as well as executives from Forest City Ratner Companies and Yonkers Partners in Education participated in the fifth session workshops.
The career-exploration program—funded since 2013 by Forest City Ratner through a $100,000 grant to YPIE—teaches participating Yonkers public school students about management careers in the shopping/lifestyle center and retail industry, including restaurant management, retail operations, security and maintenance management, healthcare center management, public relations and marketing. The initiative builds on YPIE’s commitment to provide students with the information and tools they need for college and to launch career paths that will result in a fulfilling and stable future.
“Our goal, from the beginning, was to highlight how each individual employed at Ridge Hill is an integral part of making this shopping center so successful,” said Executive Vice President and Director of Retail Development for FCRC, Kathryn Welch. “With an employee-base of over 1,400, Ridge Hill is filled with immense talent eager to share their professional knowledge. We’ve been highly motivated by the feedback from the 100 Ridge Hill Academy graduates and look forward to the next six-week session.”
The six -week program enables Ridge Hill Academy participants to rotate among the Center’s retailers to learn about the wide variety of career opportunities and the educational paths needed to obtain entry-level positions. Students also work on job readiness and in skill-building workshops focused on resume writing, interviewing and workplace etiquette.
Each Ridge Hill Academy graduate is awarded a certificate upon completion of the program and has the opportunity to apply for summer internships and jobs at Ridge Hill.
“Ridge Hill Academy continues to be a major draw for Yonkers students who seek to explore their career aspirations and learn from experienced professionals,” said Wendy Nadel, Executive Director or Yonkers Partners in Education. “We are so grateful to Forest City Ratner for enabling our students to have this wonderful opportunity!”
The goal of RHA is to expose Yonkers high school students to a greater mix of career opportunities that exist beyond the public face of retail. Forest City Ratner is leading the way in this collaborative effort between business, education and community.
About Yonkers Partners In Education
About Ridge Hill
About Forest City Ratner Companies