NCCF Receives Grant to Fund Retail Certificate Program

The SoNo Collection, Norwalk Community College (NCC) and the Norwalk Community College Foundation will launch the first certificate program for students this fall in Retail Customer Service and Sales. The program will provide sales and service training to NCC Students for work in the retail industry and other fields that value customer service and sales capabilities.

The program is made possible by a $250,000 grant from real estate developer General Growth Properties (GGP) awarded to the Norwalk Community College Foundation. Chicago-based GGP owns the SoNo Collection in Norwalk, a retail-based mixed-use project it is developing that will feature retailers, a boutique hotel and restaurants.

“We are very excited to get this program going with NCC and the NCC Foundation. They have been great partners and we believe it will result in more job opportunities being filled by local Norwalk residents,” said Douglas Adams, Senior Director at GGP.

“Norwalk Community College and the Norwalk Community College Foundation are excited about the opportunity to partner with GGP to create a retail career pathway,” said NCC President David L. Levinson, Ph.D. “This will benefit 500 women and men over five years who will be part of this exciting new enterprise.”

Classes for the Retail Customer Service and Sales curriculum within the Extended Studies & Workforce Education program at NCC start on October 24. Graduates of the eight-week program will receive a Certificate from NCC in Retail Customer Service and Sales, and be able to sit for the National Professional Certification in Customer Service and Sales exam offered by the National Retail Federation. The initial grant from the SoNo Collection is for five years.

Priority registration will be given to Norwalk residents. All enrolled students will receive access to career services to ensure they are job ready and wrap-around support services to enhance retention and course completion. In the later years of the grant period, NCC students will be able to take an Advanced Customer Sales and Supervision course. Areas covered during the course include an overview of the retail industry, customer service, selling and service, store operations, and securing employment.

Classes meet from 6-9 p.m. from October 24 through December 19. Class will also meet on Thursday, December 14 and Thursday, December 21, from 6-9 p.m. Class registration is $25, which is refundable upon successful completion of the certification exam.

General Growth Properties, Inc. is an S&P 500 company focused exclusively on owning, managing, leasing, and redeveloping high-quality retail properties throughout the United States. GGP is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, and publicly traded on the NYSE under the symbol GGP.

For more information and to register, please contact the Division of Extended Studies at NCC at (203) 857-7080 or visit Be sure to reference the Retail Customer Service and Sales Certificate program.