Celebrating Our 10-Year Partnership with Diverse Supplier WEI

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Our partnerships with small and diverse businesses are mutually beneficial: They help us ensure that our products and services evolve to meet the needs of our customers, while also providing economic opportunity to our suppliers.

In fact, in 2018, our Supplier Diversity Program contributed $5.5 billion to the U.S. economy and sustained 31,000 jobs. This success would not be possible without the partnerships we have with our suppliers like New Hampshire-based WEI.

Since partnering with CVS Health 10 years ago to provide IT consulting services and solutions, WEI has been able to increase its workforce by 80 percent, growth that Co-Founder and Vice President Leslie Rosas says has a “trickle-down effect” in allowing WEI to use more diverse suppliers in their own supply chain and to develop a more diverse workforce of their own.

On the CVS Health side, WEI has become an expansion of the IT team, filling a critical company need and ready to help whenever we need them.

Watch the video to learn more about how our two companies have worked together and contributed to each other’s growth over the past 10 years.

Visit our Supplier Diversity page to learn more about our program.

To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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CVS Health Among Top Companies for Disability Inclusion

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2019 DEI ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ logo.

CVS Health has earned a top score on the 2019 Disability Equality Index (DEI). This is the third year in a row that CVS Health has been given a score of 100 on the DEI, which is based on several criteria, including culture and leadership; enterprise-wide access and supplier diversity. Top-scoring companies earn the distinction of being recognized as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that Aetna, a CVS Health business, has made the list.

Supporting Individuals with Disabilities in Our Workforce

At CVS Health, we understand the value of a diverse workforce and we have a number of programs in place to ensure that we are actively attracting, training, hiring and retaining individuals from many demographics, including those with disabilities.

Our Abilities in Abundance program, led by our Workforce Initiatives team, engages individuals with disabilities to provide job coaching and employment opportunities.

Through partnerships with community organizations nationwide, we’ve opened several training centers where individuals with disabilities can learn skills necessary for careers in retail environments, including most recently, the new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center, which opened in Cleveland, Ohio, in partnership with the Center for Children and Families.

Similarly, we operate several Regional Learning Centers, where we collaborate with government agencies, community organizations, and educational institutions to create job training programs that are often designed for individuals with disabilities.

And our Abilities Colleague Resource Group (CRG) helps to increase awareness of the important role that customers and colleagues with disabilities play in our workforce, workplace and marketplace by taking action to foster, at all levels of CVS Health, an inclusive, supportive environment.

A Comprehensive Assessment of Disability Inclusion

Launched in 2015 as a joint initiative of Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities, the DEI is recognized as the most comprehensive disability inclusion assessment tool allowing businesses to self-report their disability policies and practices.

180 companies from a diverse range of industries, including health care, technology and financial services, participated in the 2019 DEI. Of those, 113 were Fortune 500 companies.

In total, the participating DEI companies represent a workforce of more than 8.6 million, with 3.7 percent of employees identifying as having a disability.

2019 DEI ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ logo.
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CVS Health Named a 2019 ‘Best for Vets’ Employer

CVS Health Named a 2019 ‘Best for Vets’ Employer
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Military Times has named CVS Health to its 2019 list of best companies for veterans seeking a civilian job. 

In its tenth year, the Best for Vets: Employers rankings evaluate companies’ culture, veteran recruiting, veteran policies, and accommodations for members of the National Guard and reserves.

In 2018, CVS Health hired more than 4,200 veterans and 1000 military spouses, with veterans making up 5 percent of our total workforce of nearly 300,000 employees nationwide. Many of these colleagues are brought into the company through one of our veteran-focused employment and training programs

This is the third year that CVS Health has been selected for this recognition. Rankings are made via a rigorous evaluation of data submitted by each company, and the Best for Vets lists, which include for-profit companies and government and nonprofit organizations, are considered a trusted resource for veterans looking to transition to civilian life. 

Nearly 200 companies competed for a spot in this year’s rankings. 

Our Commitment to Supporting Veterans

Recognizing the valuable skills that veterans and their spouses bring to the workforce, as well as the challenges that this population can sometimes face when transitioning into civilian life, CVS Health is dedicated to recruiting, hiring, training and retaining veterans to build a pipeline of workforce talent.

Through our partnership with the Department of Defense SkillBridge Initiative, we’re providing training and information on prospective job opportunities to transitioning service men and women on military bases in Virginia and Hawaii. 

And in July 2017, we opened the Talent Connect Center in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to guide veterans and their spouses through the opportunities available within CVS Health nationwide.

Beyond employment and training opportunities, we also support veterans through our partnership between MinuteClinic, our retail medical clinic, and the Department of Veterans Affairs, to give veterans in select locations access high quality care and treatment of minor illnesses and injuries.

We provide charitable support to military and veteran-focused organizations, including the National Guard, Operation Reinvent and the USO. And colleagues can connect through the CVS Health Colleague Resource Group Valor, which is comprised of more than 500 members with a passion to serve those who have served our country.
 

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NYC Regional Learning Center Recognized for Customized Employment Efforts

NYC Regional Learning Center Recognized for Customized Employment Efforts
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The NYC-based CVS Health Regional Learning Center team
CVS Health Workforce Initiatives team members accept the Customized Employment Award for their work to provide training and employment to people with disabilities through our Regional Learning Center in New York City.

CVS Health has been recognized by the Consortium for Customized Learning in New York City for our efforts to provide employment opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

The Customized Employment Award, given annually by the Consortium, in collaboration with the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, was presented to CVS Health by Commissioner Victor Calise at an awards ceremony on March 28.

The Consortium, a project of Job Path, Inc., connects New York City businesses to a network of nonprofit agencies engaged in providing training and employment for people with disabilities. The CVS Health Workforce Initiatives team works with four of those agencies — AHRC New York City, Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey (Goodwill NYNJ), Cooke School & Institute and HeartShare Human Services of New York — to create customized training programs and work experiences for people with disabilities.

Additionally, AHRC NY and Goodwill NYNJ are two of several agencies and schools that utilize our New York City-based Regional Learning Center (RLC) mock store to provide customized hands-on training to people with disabilities, allowing them to learn in a less intimidating environment, at their own pace before entering into a work experience program in a retail setting.

Workforce in NYC: Our Ongoing Training and Employment Programs

Since 2017, more than 220 people with disabilities have completed a work experience program within our New York City-based mock store and CVS Pharmacy retail stores, where they learn skills such as customer service, stocking, working within a team setting and conflict resolution. Additionally, the opening of our Brooklyn Transition Center in 2017 has provided another 380 students with disabilities with mock store training opportunities.

The Customized Employment Award is one of several that our RLC in New York City has received recently for its programs. In 2018, CVS Health was named Employer of the Year by Goodwill Industries of Greater New York and Northern New Jersey (Goodwill NYNJ) for being a leader in the vision to create a world with no employment barriers for individuals with disabilities. And in 2017, the Regional Learning Center (RLC) team was recognized by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office for People With Disabilities with the Title 1 Sapolin Employment award. The award is given to employers in New York City that provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to obtain competitive employment.

The training and opportunities provided through our nationwide network of Regional Learning Centers are part of our Abilities In Abundance program, which helps workers with disabilities access the security and prosperity that stable jobs can provide. Led by our Workforce Initiatives team, Abilities In Abundance provides job coaching, mentoring, training and follow-up support.

The NYC-based CVS Health Regional Learning Center team
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Improving Student Outcomes with SMART

Improving Student Outcomes with SMART
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Students learn best — and are ultimately more successful — when they feel healthy both mentally and physically. But not all students have equal access to health services.

SMART™, a school health solution focused on ensuring the wellness of every student in an educational setting, is working to change that. Developed through a partnership between CVS Health and Ginn Group Consulting, which architected the program, SMART™ works with schools to ensure the wellness of every student, while destigmatizing the seeking of health care, and eliminating or mitigating the barriers to academic achievement.

Since the program’s launch in 2013, SMART™ sites have opened in seven schools around the country, including four in Chicago. The model has demonstrated proven outcomes over the past five years, including:

  • 30,555 more school days attended by students at the flagship site in Chicago

  • 23,805 physical and behavioral health visits across all sites

  • 10,254 immunizations administered to students and faculty at all sites

  • 86% decrease in school suspensions, cumulatively, at the flagship site in Chicago

SMART partners cut the ribbon on a new Chicago school clinic.
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Workforce Program Helps Students Succeed

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"As a child I spent a lot of time moving from place to place. My family didn’t settle in one location until I was 13 years old,” explains Olawunmi “Lala” Ajibola, whose family is originally from Nigeria. “I also didn’t study much when I was young because I [thought] I wouldn’t be able to attend college.”

Fortunately Lala’s high school counselor advised her about scholarships. She says she now takes her studies very seriously. She also takes her full-time job as a pharmacy technician in Manhattan-based CVS Store #10407 very seriously.

“Every customer must be treated in their own special way. CVS has taught me how to be more compassionate and understanding,” shares Lala.

Lala joined the company three years ago through our Workforce Initiatives partnership with Learning to Work, a New York City Department of Education program. Workforce Initiatives supports youth from an educational, health care and employment perspective through the myCVSJourney Pathways to Health Care Careers program. Each year, the program serves more than 30,000 youth aged 5-24. Their goal, according to Lisa Dowd, Regional Learning Center Manager for Workforce Initiatives, is to increase that number to more than 50,000 annually. 

Lala is an example of the program’s success, and works hard to build strong relationships with her customers. “She exudes such positivity and warmth with customers. She’s really exceptional,” explains Lisa, who originally noticed Lala’s potential during her orientation, and has mentored her over the past few years.  

“During her first assignment, an externship with a Regional Learning Center and Store #1618, Lala accomplished all of the basics: being professional, following the dress code and finishing tasks on time. And, she also took the initiative to start new projects and help staff members. Lala understood she had a unique opportunity to extern at a major corporation while in high school,” says Lisa.

Now 21, Lala is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and is an A student. “Once I’m done with college and pass my bar exam, I’m thinking about applying for a position in the Legal Department at CVS Health.” 

“Young people are sometimes devalued simply because of their age,” observes Lisa. “Lala isn’t afraid to ask a question or voice a suggestion. Young people like her help our company become better.”

Our workforce program is helping students find a career path.
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Workforce Initiatives

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To support our company’s growth, we focus on attracting and equipping diverse talent for careers with CVS Health. We have an entire team of colleagues dedicated to ensuring that youth, mature workers, veterans, and individuals with disabilities have a place within our company.

Our Workforce Initiatives team partners with state and federal workforce agencies to provide employment services and training to underserved communities. They’ve helped thousands of people access meaningful employment opportunities. We also work with schools, churches, universities, faith-based and community organizations to hire people with diverse backgrounds. 

Our core workforce programs include:

  • Regional Learning Centers - Four fully operational store and pharmacy training locations that support the development of colleagues and partnering community agencies.

  • MyCVS Journey Pathways to Health Care Careers - A program aimed at underserved youth that provides hands-on career exploration through job shadowing, intern experiences in CVS Pharmacy stores, training, mentoring and employment. 

  • Registered Apprenticeships - Participants receive classroom and online instruction, professional mentorship, and on-the-job training, as well as pre-employment and post-placement retention support. 

  • Heroes2Careers Military Hiring Program – This program is aimed at hiring qualified veterans and military spouses through targeted recruiting efforts, mentoring and skills building.

  • Talent Is Ageless Mature Worker Hiring Program  – This program cultivates public and private partnerships at the local, state and national level with the goal of recruiting more mature workers into all areas of the business. 

  • Abilities In Abundance – This program provides skills development programs, job training, and placement opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

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Veterans Infuse CVS Health with Talent and Unique Skills

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Veterans represent a growing number of CVS Health employees.

David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer for CVS Health, discusses the company’s efforts to recruit and hire our nation’s veterans. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and served in Operation Desert Storm.

Companies around the world now compete globally for scarce technical and professional skills. The challenge is particularly acute in health care, where it is projected that by 2020, 5.6 million new jobs will be created, which may lead to a sizeable shortage in pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants – the same highly skilled workers we need to run our business.

We believe our nation’s veterans are a powerful resource for building a robust pipeline of skilled talent and expertise to sustain our success, and with millions of service members transitioning out of the military over the next few years, we’re committed to hiring veterans, current National Guard and Reserve members and military spouses across all parts of our business. I personally understand the challenge of having to look for your next career opportunity after returning from a military deployment.

Veterans bring with them a sense of discipline, integrity and a bias for action that makes them reliable and accountable team members across all parts of the business. We have colleagues from many functions engaged in helping to identify innovative ways to facilitate veterans’ successful transition from the service while exploring meaningful career paths with CVS Health, including:

  • Recruiting veterans with skills that are directly transferable to job functions at CVS Health such as distribution and logistics, as well as veterans with leadership skills that can be transferred into management positions within the company, such as store managers.

  • Training veterans without a college degree for pharmacy technician positions and other roles.

  • Offering support networks, such as VALOR, our colleague resource group dedicated to helping veterans. With nearly 500 active members across the country, both veterans and non-veterans are invited to join.

  • Providing mentoring, performance management and assistance with individual development plans to help advance their careers at CVS Health.

  • Creating a military career web page to help with veteran hiring initiatives and provide relevant content for the military community, as well as help veterans see what career paths may make the most sense for them at CVS Health.

  • Required training programs to assist our talent acquisition teams and hiring managers in understanding how to recruit and hire veterans into meaningful positions within our company, as well as manage military talent once hired.

Watch this video to learn more about how veterans at our company are helping people on their path to better health.

Veterans represent a growing number of CVS Health employees.
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Vermont Colleagues Recognized for Workforce Development Efforts

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CVS Health colleagues pose with their awards

Two CVS Pharmacy colleagues, Danielle Salant, a store manager, and Lee Ashby, a shift supervisor, were recently honored with a 2018 Employer Award from Creative Workforce Solutions (CWS). CWS is one of many organizations nationwide that CVS Health has partnered with to ensure that meaningful job training and employment opportunities are available to individuals from diverse backgrounds.

At the CVS Pharmacy in Morrisville, Vermont, where Salant and Ashby are employed, colleagues and local job seekers are provided with job training and employment opportunities through the CWS partnership. Operated by the Vermont Agency of Human Services Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, CWS represents a coalition of employment programs across the state and helps to streamline job placement.

Over the last three years, Salany and Ashby have played instrumental roles in the partnership between CWS and CVS Health. “They have created and provided a friendly, inclusive and welcoming workplace, hosting customer service and cash register trainings, assisting candidates to learn on the job and gain employment,” CWS Business Account Manager DJ Masi said.

Creating & Sustaining an Inclusive Workplace

We are better able to fulfill our purpose of helping people on their paths to better health when our workforce is representative of the millions of patients and nearly 10,000 communities we serve across the country. Therefore, we believe that attracting and retaining a diverse workforce is a key component to our success.

Through a set of workforce initiatives aimed at recruiting, hiring and developing youth colleagues, mature colleagues, colleagues with disabilities and colleagues with a military background, we work with partners like CWS all across the country to ensure qualified candidates have access to meaningful job training and employment opportunities with CVS Health.

“These creative, productive partnerships provide a great learning opportunity for community members and allow our staff to promote CVS Pharmacy as a great place to work, meeting motivated candidates who at some point may become employees,” Rick Laferriere, CVS Health Workforce Initiatives Lead Manager, said.

CVS Health colleagues pose with their awards
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