TCC’s Retail Institute is training current and future retail employees. 


Did you know that retail supports over a million jobs in the state of Virginia and directly and indirectly supports 1 in 5 jobs in Virginia and is responsible for 15% of the state’s GDP?

All the more reason to start or advance your career in the retail industry.“Retail” is a term that encompasses the food industry, commercial real estate, store and shopping center management, automotive dealerships and more. And the people who work in this industry need specialized training. This is where TCC’s Retail Institute comes in. Since 2011 they have been designing and holding training that is specialized to meet the needs to incoming and existing retail employees.

The Retail Institute’s mission is to serve as a focal point for retail education and training for the Hampton Roads Region and beyond, preparing individuals for careers and advancement in a variety of retail and retail-related enterprises through high-quality, state-of-the-art, credit and non-credit programming.

Participants in the program including persons seeking entry-level positions, those already in the retail industry who are looking to advance to mid-level and senior management positions, people needing to upgrade skills in their industry or individuals who have a business background by are lacking retail experience.

Retail Institute Director, Laura Hanson, says the Institute works closely and partners with the local Retail Alliance and the National Retail Federation. “To that end, we listen intently to and partner with the region’s leaders in business, industry, and government, developing educational opportunities that produce the highly qualified workforce needed to make Hampton Rods competitive in the global market. The retail sector is an area that we simply cannot ignore. So when business leaders described the need, we went to work to develop a response that, we think, will be unique in the nation.”

All classes are taught by professionals who are active in their field of study. Hanson says “these aren’t just people who have been to school; these are people who are working in the field right now.” Instructors such as Randall Benjamin, the Division Shrink and Loss Prevention Manager for Farm Fresh Food and Pharmacy. Benjamin has over 25 years of experience in retail loss prevention, human resources and operations and is currently the Chairman of the Retail Alliance’s Loss Prevention Task Force.

The Retail Institute was also recently awarded a grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to provide training and education to members of the Hampton Roads community that will prepare participants for successful employment in the retail industry.  The grant will enable TCC to offer 10 unemployed and underemployed individuals a 6 week pilot program to provide the education, training, skills, counseling and resources necessary to begin careers in retail customer service, sales and management. Students will participate in 6 hours of classwork weekly for 6 weeks and will be given the opportunity to gain related work experience through a volunteer internship.  TCC will collaborate with Goodwill and other community agencies to identify eligible individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in retail.  Goodwill will provide internship opportunities for participants.  

The Retail institute also offers customized courses for employers looking to train their workforce in a specific area. Classes can be held at the campus, the regional Workforce Development Center or at the employer’s location. The Institute is very response and flexible to industry trends as well as employer and student needs, says Hanson. “We offered a class last month in Social Media Marketing. When the students said they wanted a follow up course that went more in depth into Search Engine Optimization, we created it. The class will be held at the end of the month.” 

For more information on open enrollment course or customized training, contact Laura Hanson for more information.

Laura Hanson
Retail Institute, Tidewater Community College
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 



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