CVS/pharmacy Honored with 2006 New Freedom Initiative Award by U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao

Thursday, October 26, 2006

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS/pharmacy, the country's largest retail pharmacy, today received the 2006 New Freedom Initiative Award from U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao during a Department of Labor ceremony in Washington, D.C.

The award recognizes CVS/pharmacy for demonstrating exemplary and innovative efforts to recruit, hire, and promote people with disabilities, incorporating the principles of President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative to give people with disabilities the opportunity to fully participate in all aspects of community life.

"Americans with disabilities are a valuable part of our workforce," said Secretary Chao. "The New Freedom Initiative Award ceremony is a great opportunity to recognize the employers, organizations and individuals who have shown exceptional commitment to equal access and opportunity for Americans with disabilities."

CVS enforces non-discriminatory hiring practices throughout the company, which is comprised of some 170,000 employees in 43 states and the District of Columbia. CVS/pharmacy tailors its physical workplaces and job duties to make the company more friendly and accessible to workers with disabilities. In addition, the company partners with the Department of Labor, Easter Seals, Goodwill Industries and many other organizations nationwide to recruit and train people with disabilities -- and help put them on solid career paths at CVS/pharmacy.

"CVS/pharmacy is committed to developing an inclusive, diverse company," said V. Michael Ferdinandi, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, CVS/pharmacy. "We have benefited tremendously from the talent and dedication of our employees with disabilities, and we thank the Department of Labor for their recognition of our achievements in these areas."

One of CVS/pharmacy's recent partnerships is with the New Vision Photography Program, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C. that provides adults with developmental disabilities with training in digital photography. Since 2005, CVS/pharmacy has trained and hired 12 New Vision graduates as photo assistants. Another recent partnership with the Office of Disability Employment Policy and area organizations had high-schoolers with developmental disabilities gaining valuable on-the-job training at CVS stores in Ocala, Fla. The pilot program is currently expanding to several cities nationwide.

In addition to CVS/pharmacy, this year's winners of the fifth annual New Freedom Initiative Award include one individual, four non-profits, and three other corporations -- Aetna Inc., Highmark Inc., and Raytheon Missile Systems.