On Monday, November 11, 2019, 13 young men and women challenged themselves both professionally and socially by attending a professional development day hosted in partnership with The TJX Companies. The TJX Companies operate several brands familiar with shoppers in the US and beyond. Some of their stores include TJ Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, and Sierra to name only a few.
TJX has been a huge supporter of Triangle for many years. They are active on our board, and have been the lead corporate sponsor for both of our annual fundraisers for several years: our springtime Celebration and the Golf Classic in October. The TJX team wanted to get more directly involved, so we partnered with their HR team to create opportunities for high school students who receive Triangle’s Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS). The Pre-ETS program provides employment training to students still in high school, focusing on awareness, exploration, and preparation. Triangle’s hope is that each student who participates in a Pre-ETS program will leave high school ready to take on life and excel in careers that interest them.
All 13 attendees came dressed professionally with many proudly sharing that they purchased their attire at a TJX store! Training sessions took place at TJX HQ in Framingham and covered making a good first impression, job search tips, and the basics of how to provide great customer service. After that, the group traveled to Sierra at a nearby shopping center where Assistant Manager Frank spoke about his store with great pride. He gave the group a tour, showing them the ins and outs of making the store run efficiently, and pointed out the teamwork needed and the variety of jobs. The students were exposed to many roles they were not aware of, opening their eyes to additional opportunities to pursue in their future careers. This showed them that they already possess many valuable employment skills they weren’t aware of. The group got to spend time in the breakroom and backroom before a final Q+A.
On the van ride home, students were in high spirits. There was a strong sense of accomplishment expressed by many students, some of whom were nervous going into the day because they had never been in a professional environment. One young man, who swore he would never work in a retail environment again after a prior negative experience, plans to apply! Thinking back to the focus of Pre-ETS—awareness, exploration, and preparation—it’s safe to say the event was a great success, and the young people in attendance are better equipped for what lies ahead of them.