State of the Union address highlights apprenticeship program

2015 State of the Union Address by President Obama

CVS Health’s leadership in workforce development garnered national attention during President Barack Obama’s annual 2015 State of the Union address. During his remarks, the President asked businesses to follow our company’s lead and offer more educational benefits and paid apprenticeships. The President said these opportunities give workers the chance to earn higher-paying jobs, even if they don’t have a higher education. CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo was one of several guests invited to the address by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Apprenticeships are not new for CVS Health. We were the first employer to launch a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program for pharmacy technicians in 2005. Since then, CVS Health has placed more than 1,500 colleagues in Registered Apprenticeship career tracks in retail pharmacy and management and is committed to doubling that number over the next five years.

“Apprenticeships are a powerful tool for both the apprentice and for CVS Health,” says David Casey, Vice President of Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer. “Participants receive hands-on experience, industry-recognized credentials and, in some cases, college credit, while CVS Health is able to develop a pipeline of talented and skilled employees.”

CVS Health is the sponsor of two Registered Apprenticeship programs. Career Prescriptions for Success (CAPS) was piloted in Detroit in 2005 and later replicated in other cities. Participants receive classroom and online instruction, professional mentorship, and on-the-job training, as well as pre-employment and post-placement retention support. As CVS Health expands our Registered Apprenticeship program, we’ll be looking at whether we can also offer meaningful apprenticeship opportunities in other areas of our business, such as pharmacy benefit management, specialty pharmacy, nursing and digital.

CVS Health recognizes the role training and development plays in helping workers reach their potential. In addition to apprenticeships, we offer many other learning opportunities in all areas of our business. Our robust suite of training tools reinforces our colleagues’ ability to hone their skills and advance their careers.