CVS Training Centers Simulate Pharmacy Work for People with Disabilities

  • CVS Health training center graduate Kaylee Merrick
    Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, training center graduate Kaylee Merrick, CVS Health VP of workforce strategies David Casey (Photo credit: Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services).

This article originally appeared on the Society of Human Resource Management website on January 4, 2018.

It looks like a real CVS Pharmacy, though you can't get your prescription filled there. But soon, one of the trainees in this mock store may be working at a CVS near you.

CVS Health has set up more than 30 job-training centers around the country to help people with physical, developmental or intellectual disabilities prepare for full-time employment in retail and pharmacy-technician careers.

Kaylee Merrick graduated from one of the company's newest training centers, located in Fishersville, VA. She has anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, short- and long-term memory loss, attention deficit disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. And now she is a cashier and stock clerk at a CVS store in Stafford, VA. She landed the job five months after becoming one of the Fishersville program's first graduates in 2016.

Merrick, 24, said the training center helped her develop customer service skills. But she prefers the busy atmosphere of a real store, where she works 20 to 30 hours each week.

"I love interacting with people, even the grumpy ones I try to get to smile," Merrick said.

Read the full article on the Society of Human Resource Management website.