RETAIL TRAINING (Thrift Store, Woodlot, U-Haul and Christmas Tree Lots)


Albany Helping Hands Thrift Store is run by shelter residents and volunteers.  The Thrift Store is one of our many programs that offer job training.  This program encompasses all thrift store related activities, consistent with planning, sales, maintenance, and purchasing for the successful operation of a retail store.  This program requires 200 hours of hands on experience before they can move to the next stage of the program.  


Our residents will increase their skill level in retail sales, meeting the public, and how to respond to a customer with respect and provide them with the help and service they need to have a positive shopping experience.  Individuals in our program will also undergo an additional 200 hours of class time.  

With the completion of training, competency observation, oral evaluation, completion of written class materials, and an on the job training period will be approved by the thrift store manager.  The candidates will receive a certificate of completion as well as a letter of recommendation from their supervisor.  

Training Plan


The scope of this training plan is to offer the opportunity for homeless individuals to learn retail store skills, and work ethics that will assist them in finding gainful employment.  This plan will involve two stages of training for individuals who choose to volunteer for this program.  Upon completion of both stages, the individual will receive a certificate of completion and a letter of Work Recommendation for their portfolio.

Stage One:

In this stage each volunteer will complete the following tasks approved by the store manager, and signed off as completed.  

  • Safety training   
  • Lifting, squatting, and stooping (2 hr. safety instruction & video)
  • Sorting, cleaning, repairing (3hr. class instruction 450hrs. job training)
  • Job attendance/attitude (1hr. class instructions)
  • Being a team player/communicating/suggestions (1hr. class instructions)  

Stage Two:

In this stage, each volunteer in training will have completed stage one and demonstrated the responsibility to proceed and be accepted into the Stage Two training.  

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  • Making change (2 hrs. Classroom instruction/8hrs. Supervised)
  • Store merchandising and display (100 hrs. Supervised mentoring)
  • Balancing cash receipts and record keeping (150 hrs. supervised training)
  • Cash register competency (150 hrs. OJT supervised)
  • Customer relations and coping skills (200 hrs. supervised training)
  • Opening and closing (10 hrs. supervised, split between both operations)
  • Pricing (150 hrs. supervised training and instruction