Press Releases

“Shopping” For Management Careers: Innovative Ridge Hill Academy Launches Spring 2015 Session


Wednesday, April 15, 2015

FCRC: Joyce Baumgarten / Kelly Ferraro
Geto & de Milly, Inc. / (212) 686-4551
YPIE: Wendy Nadel (914) 377-4882

“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
Yonkers Partners in Education (YPIE) is a private, not-for-profit organization working in partnership with the Yonkers Public Schools to increase the number of students who complete a post-secondary program. Access to college and career advisors, scholarship and financial aid assistance, college visits, application essay coaching, SAT preparation and more ensure that underserved middle and high school students in Yonkers have the same opportunities as children in more affluent communities. Visit YPIE online at

About Ridge Hill
Westchester’s Ridge Hill is the best destination in Westchester to shop, dine and play. Patterned on a classic downtown, our family-friendly outdoor center features a central Town Square and children’s play area. In addition to our eclectic mix of popular fashion, sports and technology retailers, the center is home to LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, a 12-screen National Amusements Showcase Cinema de Lux, Starbucks, Whole Foods, LA Fitness and eight delicious dine-in restaurants. Located at the Center of Ridge Hill, the WESTMED office building’s 340 employees can take advantage of the great shopping and dining selections right at their front door during their lunch break or on their way home. WESTMED occupies 110,000 square feet of the160,000-square foot office building. Ridge Hill is easily accessible to all Westchester, Putnam and NYC Metropolitan-area residents and visitors. Learn more at Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About Forest City Ratner Companies
FCRC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, Inc., owns and operates 34 properties in the New York metropolitan area. Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is an NYSE-listed national real estate company with $8.2 billion in total assets. The Company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate and land throughout the United States. For more information, visit