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Bernzomatic Provides Retailer Training Scholarships

The North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and Bernzomatic are accepting applications for the Bernzomatic Spring 2017 Find Your Fire scholarship program to attend the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program.

Find Your Fire Scholarship

The Find Your Fire scholarship program is designed to award two retailers the opportunity to participate in the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program. The program is a college-level retail management and leadership development course designed to train future retail leaders in the independent home improvement industry. The course teaches advanced retail management and leadership concepts, and arms participants with skills to help them advance their careers.

Bernzomatic, a brand of Worthington, Ohio-based Worthington Industries, launched the scholarship earlier this year.

2016 Scholarship Recipients

For the 2016 class session, Bernzomatic awarded four students half-tuition scholarships, valued at $6,250 each. The Spring 2016 Find Your Fire scholarship recipients were Josh Rogers, manager of Meade’s Do it Center in Irvine, Kentucky, and Zack Dupuis, manager of R.K. Miles in Manchester, Vremont. Rogers and Dupuis recently graduated after completing three separate training sessions during the six-month program.

“The NRHA Retail Management Certification Program was a tremendous growth opportunity for me, both personally and professionally,” says Dupuis. “I felt a huge difference in my confidence and skill set from the first day to the last.”

As part of the program, students complete a business improvement project that provides growth opportunities for the sponsoring businesses. Dupuis developed his store’s hardscape sales strategy to capitalize on a need in the marketplace. To date, the project has produced a nearly $200,000 sales increase for the business.

Rogers developed a store on-boarding process and employee manual as his semester project.

“The RMCP classes provided me the opportunity to network with other retailers from across the country,” says Rogers. “The hands-on activities were particularly engaging and taught us valuable lessons about management and leadership. I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in these classes, which was made possible by my Bernzomatic scholarship.”

“Bernzomatic knows that rising retail leaders have a desire to learn and grow their businesses, and we are proud to partner with the NRHA to help ignite their careers,” says Jennifer Fening, Bernzomatic spokesperson. “The success that Josh and Zack achieved through the program demonstrates its role in shaping future industry leaders.”

The Fall 2016 Find Your Fire scholarship recipients include Jonathan Fox, manager of New Albany Ace Hardware in New Albany, Ohio, and Daren Padgett, manager of Roselawn True Value in Roselawn, Indiana. Both are currently attending the Fall 2016 class.

“My future aspiration is to grow my family’s business and make it financially successful, as well as a business that gives back to the community,” says Fox. “I want to thank Bernzomatic for providing me with this scholarship to help advance my career and make me a much better manager and employee.”

“This opportunity to attend the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program gives me a real feeling of accomplishment,” says Padgett. “I love working and growing our business, and in turn I commit myself daily to improving our business. I’m very excited to receive this scholarship from Bernzomatic so I may attend this program.”

Apply for the 2017 Scholarship

“At Bernzomatic, we say there’s a fire in everyone waiting to ignite, and Jonathan and Daren epitomize that fire as they embark upon this step in their careers,” says Fening. “We’re proud to join NRHA in accelerating the career growth of these rising retail leaders, which will in turn help advance the hardware retailing community as a whole. And we look forward to welcoming the Spring 2017 scholarship recipients and fueling the ambitions of the hardware retailing community.”

“We’re delighted that Bernzomatic is once again providing scholarships for independent retailers to attend the program,” says Scott Wright, executive director of NRHA’s Retail Leadership Institute. “This clearly demonstrates Bernzomatic’s continued support and dedication to the success of independent home improvement retailers, and we can’t thank them enough.”

Applications for the Spring 2017 “Find Your Fire” scholarships are now open through Jan. 27, 2017. The $6,250 scholarships will cover 50 percent of the NRHA Retail Management Certification Program tuition. To apply, please visit: http://www.nrharmcp.com/scholarships/findyourfire/.

About Scott Wright

A home improvement industry veteran, Scott has spent the past 20 years developing programs and services to serve NRHA’s mission of helping retailers become better and more profitable merchants. During his tenure, Scott has spearheaded the development of NRHA’s industry- leading training programs. He was also instrumental in developing content for NRHA’s PlanItDIY Consumer Awareness Initiative. Scott has a B.A. in Journalism from Indiana University’s School of Journalism and was formerly editor and associate publisher of Hardware Retailing magazine. Before that, he served as editorial director of custom publications for the association, where he was in charge of launching national B2B and B2C publications for companies such as Ace Hardware, Distribution America and United Hardware.

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