Diversity & Inclusion

Developing Bilingual Pharmacists to Break Down Barriers

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10.31.19
A Hispanic pharmacist fills a prescription.

Ashley Mendez’s family fled Cuba in the wake of Fidel Castro’s rise to power and settled in Miami, rebuilding their life from scratch — with little money, few possessions and no ability to speak English.

Watching her family, Ashley understood from a young age how difficult even the simplest tasks could be when you didn’t speak the same language as everyone else. That was particularly true for health care: Ashley and her family believe her grandmother’s death may have been caused in part by miscommunication over the painkiller she was taking for a pinched nerve.

So when it came time to choose a career, Ashley knew exactly what she wanted to do — and where she wanted to do it. She wanted to be a pharmacist and she wanted to work somewhere she could help people who didn’t speak English.

It was the way she could honor her grandmother.

“She was one of the most influential people in my life,” says Ashley. “If we had known more about what was going on, we could have helped her.”

There are many different barriers that prevent people from getting the health care they need: They may live in an area without the right providers, they may lack the transportation to travel to the right facility, they may not have enough money to afford the right treatment.

But one critical barrier that frequently gets overlooked is the language barrier.

According to the U.S. Census Department, the number of residents who speak Spanish at home has skyrocketed 130 percent since 1990, up to about 40 million. That increase has created an overwhelming demand for bilingual pharmacists — but the supply has not kept pace. While Hispanics comprise 18 percent of the nation’s population, they account for less than 5 percent of the pharmacist workforce.

Ashley, 27, is part of CVS Health’s effort to close the gap. She spent the summer of 2017 in an immersive internship program that seeks to help develop bilingual pharmacists. Interns spend 10 weeks shadowing pharmacists who are fluent in Spanish and participating in the care of Spanish-speaking patients. They learn medical terminology, study diseases prevalent in the Hispanic community, and become familiar with the over-the-counter products most popular among Hispanic customers.

The program is an illustration of the company’s belief that you can’t build healthy communities unless you have a workforce that reflects those communities.

“People are looking for a pharmacist they feel comfortable talking to,” says Alex Acuna, 26, another intern in the program, who attended the University of Texas at Austin.

Alex grew up in an El Paso neighborhood that was 80 percent Latino, and in a household where his mother regularly spoke Spanish. But although he could speak a fair amount of Spanish himself, communicating technical details to his Spanish-speaking customers was difficult. Nuances were being lost in translation. In normal conversation, those nuances could be insignificant. When talking about treatments and medication, they could be critical.

Alex knew he had to learn “pharmacy Spanish,” as he described it.

“When was first starting, my Spanish was a little broken,” he says.  “Saying something a certain way could mean something different to a patient.”

The internship program is one of several efforts from CVS Health to address the language gap. Last year, CVS Health gave the Roseman University College of Pharmacy $25,000 to fund Hispanic recruitment and outreach initiatives and establish a pipeline of Spanish-speaking students.

Alex, who earned his license in May, is working now back in his hometown of El Paso. He says he’s grateful to be able to give back to the community that raised him.

Ashley, who attended Florida State University as an undergraduate and studied pharmacy at Mercer University in Atlanta, says she’d love to go back to Miami, where she grew up and where she served her internship.

But she also knows that in Florida, she’ll be one among many Spanish speakers — and that she might do more for the Latino community by staying where she is now.

“There’s a need for Spanish speakers in Atlanta,” she says. “You can tell that the language barrier is a big issue.”

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

A Hispanic pharmacist fills a prescription.
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Developing Our Diverse Workforce

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10.23.19
Two colleagues walking down a corridor.

Creating Opportunities for Youth

With some of the best talent in the industry, we have a unique opportunity to expose youth to a vast number of careers in health care. Our STEM enriched, nationally recognized program, myCVS Journey Pathways to Health Care Careers, introduces students to career opportunities in pharmacy services; professional management; medicine and nursing; and IT, analytics and engineering.

In 2018, more than 2,800 youth participated in the program, nearly half of whom engaged in the pharmacy track. We extended the program’s reach through a new collaboration with Job Corps, the largest free residential education and job training program for young adults that reaches more than 60,000 students per year.

Investing in Job Training

To strengthen our workforce and address our nation’s widening skills gap, we train highly capable individuals for meaningful careers in pharmacy care, prescription benefit management, and retail store management. In 2005, we became the first employer to launch a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program for pharmacy technicians. By 2022, we plan to hire 8,000 registered apprentices and provide these new colleagues with classroom and online instruction, professional mentorship, and on-the-job training, as well as pre- and postplacement retention support. At the end of 2018, we had hired more than 3,200 colleagues through this program.

We continue to identify ways to reach more prospective apprentices, and our newest program in Maryland – the state’s first for pharmacy technicians and pharmacy managers – provides structured training through our Regional Learning Centers (RLC) in Washington, D.C., and District Heights, MD.

Once apprentices complete the training, they are eligible to apply for a position at one of our more than 220 retail locations in the state.

Our RLCs serve as a hub for job training and a pipeline for new talent. Through our four, fully operational store and pharmacy training locations in Boston, Cleveland, New York City and Washington, D.C., we support the development of colleagues and partner with community agencies through a range of workforce development programs. Each RLC houses classrooms, office space and a full mock pharmacy.

In 2018, 1,400 community members participated in an RLC workforce development program, with many transitioning to positions within CVS Health. Retention rates among CVS Health colleagues who participate in an RLC program are 35 percent higher than for colleagues who have not. Current colleagues also receive training at the RLCs, with more than 11,000 people having participated in 2018.

Welcoming Individuals of All Abilities

We believe in breaking down employment barriers for individuals of all abilities. Since 2015, we’ve hired nearly 7,000 colleagues with disabilities, who bring valuable and diverse life experiences to their roles with CVS Health.

In 2018, we expanded on this commitment and opened seven mock pharmacies at rehabilitation centers around the country through a partnership with the National Consortium of State-Operated Comprehensive Rehabilitation Centers (NCSOCRC). Mock pharmacies provide opportunities for students that are training for roles as certified pharmacy technicians and retail sales associates to practice what they are learning in the classroom before entering the workforce. At the end of 2018, CVS Health had more than 43 of these training centers around the country, with 29 geared toward individuals with disabilities.

To learn more about the ways we’re working to protect our planet, read our 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Report.

To stay up-to-date on the latest CVS Health Social Responsibility news and content, sign up for email news alerts.

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CVS Health Among Top Companies for Disability Inclusion

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07.17.19
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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New Workforce Innovation and Talent Center Opens in Cleveland

New Workforce Innovation and Talent Center Opens in Cleveland
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07.09.19
A group of people cut the ribbon at the Workforce Innovation and Talent Center in Cleveland.
Representatives from the CVS Health Workforce Initiatives team and the Centers for Families and Children cut the ribbon on the new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center in Cleveland.
Photo of a mock pharmacy.
The Workforce Innovation and Talent Center includes a mock pharmacy where students will receive hands-on pharmacy technician training.
Photo of a classroom.
Classroom space in the Workforce Innovation and Talent Center.
Photo of a mock retail store.
The mock retail space is where students will practice skills needed for employment as retail associates.

A new CVS Health training center in Ohio is giving underserved populations in that area increased access to jobs in health care.

The new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center, which opened in Cleveland on June 25, is located in the headquarters of the Centers for Families and Children.

The center, which will host hands-on training programs for individuals looking for meaningful employment as pharmacy technicians and retail associates, includes classroom space, as well as a mock pharmacy and mock store.

“CVS Health is committed to helping underserved populations, including individuals with disabilities, mature workers, youth, veterans and dislocated workers,” said David Casey, Vice President for Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer. “By helping connect individuals with the job skills they need to gain stable employment, we are building healthier and more thriving communities across Ohio and the country.”

The new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center is one of five training centers of its kind across the country and one of 22 workforce programs that CVS Health operates with partners in the state of Ohio.

Our nationwide training centers and other programs administered by our Workforce Initiatives team are integral to our broader effort to attract, train, hire and retain colleagues that are representative of our large and diverse base of customers and patients.

At the new Workforce Innovation and Talent Center, the Center for Families and Children will work with CVS Health to place interested individuals into the appropriate training programs.

Those who enter the program will receive classroom and hands-on training in life and job skills such as training and customer service, stocking shelves and working at the cash register. The center is installed with real equipment and participants will work closely with trained staff to learn about the roles and responsibilities of front store and pharmacy technician positions.

Participants will also have access to support services offered by the Center for Families and Children, including health care and early childhood education, to help them be successful in their new careers.

Individuals who complete the program qualify to apply for a position at CVS Pharmacy.

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CVS Health Managers Honored with Patriot Awards

CVS Health Managers Honored with Patriot Awards
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06.05.19
Raja Ramasamy, accepts his Patriot Award from Phil Albert.
Raja Ramasamy, nominated by National Guardsman Travis Senseny (second from right) accepts his Patriot Award from RI ESGR Vice Chair Phil Albert, alongside David Casey, CVS Health Chief Diversity Officer (far right).
Greg Bach receives his Patriot Award.
Greg Bach receives his Patriot Award.
Charlene Wesley receives her Patriot Award.
Charlene Wesley receives her Patriot Award.
Alan Plantamura receives his Patriot Award.
Alan Plantamura receives his Patriot Award.

At CVS Health, part of being a military-friendly employer means supporting our citizen-warrior colleagues when they are called to service so they don’t have to worry about the work they are leaving behind.

Recently, four CVS Health managers were honored with Patriot Awards from the Rhode Island Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (RI ESGR) for their support of three colleagues serving in the National Guard and Reserve.

The Patriot Awards recognize individual supervisors who go above and beyond in their support of serving employees through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families, and granting leaves of absence if needed. Recipients are nominated by employees or their spouses.

The award ceremony, which was hosted by the CVS Health Northeast VALOR Colleague Resource Group, took place at enterprise headquarters in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, on May 16, 2019. David Casey, Vice President for Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, joined Phil Albert, Vice Chair of the RI ESGR, to present the awards, which were given to:

  • Greg Bach, nominated by Robert McDavid, active Army Reservist, for accommodating his schedule and even filling in for him on third shift, often handling stressful and critical tasks.
     
  • Alan Plantamura, nominated by Maulesh Trivedi, active Army Reservist, for his guidance and continued support of his drill schedule, often requiring weekday and week-long trainings.
     
  • Raja Ramasamy, nominated by Travis Senseny, active Army National Guardsman, for empowering a team culture that is supportive of his military career. As part of a Stryker Unit, the demands of Travis’ service often extend far beyond the typical two weeks a year and one weekend a month commitment.
     
  • Charlene Wesley, nominated by Robert McDavid, active Army Reservist, for accommodating his many drill dates, military education, and extended Army orders to support his unit in deployment.
     

Working to Be a Military-Friendly Employer

Our support for National Guard and Reserve members was recognized nationally in 2015 when CVS Health received Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest honor the department gives to employers for outstanding support of employees who serve in these military forces.

More recently, in recognition of our ongoing efforts to train, hire and retain veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserves, Military Times named CVS Health to its 2019 Best for Vets: Employers list.

Among our many programs and initiatives aimed at attracting veterans and active military to our workforce is our Talent Connect Center (TCC). Opened in 2017 at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, the TCC is an employment and training facility dedicated to helping veterans and their families transition from military life to private sector civilian careers.

Learn more about our commitment to veterans and military members on our Diversity page.

Raja Ramasamy, accepts his Patriot Award from Phil Albert.
Raja Ramasamy, nominated by National Guardsman Travis Senseny (second from right) accepts his Patriot Award from RI ESGR Vice Chair Phil Albert, alongside David Casey, CVS Health Chief Diversity Officer (far right).
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CVS Health among DiversityInc’s Top Companies for 2019

CVS Health among DiversityInc’s Top Companies for 2019
Bottom of the article
05.30.19

At CVS Health, we understand the value of a diverse workforce, and we have a number of programs and initiatives in place to ensure that our nearly 300,000 colleagues are representative of the diverse communities we serve nationwide. 

In recognition of these efforts, CVS Health was recently named to the 2019 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list, taking the number 27 spot, up 13 positions from last year’s list. 

Additionally, CVS Health was first on DiversityInc’s list of Top Companies for Supplier Diversity.
"At CVS Health, we are committed to helping people of all backgrounds on their path to better health. Through strategic diversity management, we are helping to drive business growth, deepen relationships with customers and build an inclusive workplace that is reflective of the communities we serve," said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer for CVS Health. "Receiving this honor for the third consecutive year is a testament to the work that all of our colleagues do every day to foster an inclusive workplace."

The DiversityInc Top 50 list, issued yearly since 2001, recognizes the nation's top companies for diversity and inclusion management. To compile the annual list, DiversityInc assesses companies in four key areas of diversity management: talent pipeline, talent development, leadership accountability and supplier diversity.  

A Focus on a Diverse Workforce and Supply Chain

Cultivating a workforce that includes colleagues of many backgrounds, including mature workers, veterans and individuals with disabilities, is a priority at CVS Health. 

Our workforce-focused programs and initiatives — including our regional learning centers, our partnership with the Department of Defense SkillBridge Initiative, and our Abilities in Abundance program — ensure that we are able to train and retain diverse talent for careers at CVS Health. 

We also understand that diversity among our supply chain helps us to better meet the needs of our customers. 

Our engagement with small and diverse businesses in 2018 led to over $5.5 billion in contributions to the U.S. economy, including sustaining 31,095 U.S. jobs with a total of $2.2 billion in wages.

The recognition by DiversityInc is the latest in a series of third-party acknowledgments for CVS Health, including: Fortune's Most Admired Companies; Forbes Most Valuable Brands; Military Times’ Best for Vets: Employers; Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens; Bloomberg’s 2019 Gender-Equality Index (GEI); Human Rights Campaign's Top Places to Work for LGBT Equality; Points of Light's The Civic 50; and Newsweek's Green Ranking of America's Greenest Companies.

For more information on our workforce and supplier diversity initiatives, visit our Diversity page.
 

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Making an Impact through Supplier Diversity

Making an Impact through Supplier Diversity
Bottom of the article
05.09.19

Our partnerships with diverse suppliers not only help us ensure that our products and services evolve to meet the needs of our customers, they also contribute to the economic growth of communities across the country. 

In 2018, CVS Health’s engagement with small and diverse businesses led to over $5.5 billion in contributions to the U.S. economy, including sustaining 31,095 U.S. jobs. with a total of $2.2 billion in wages. Additionally, our spending with small and diverse suppliers totaled $2.2 billion. 

Throughout 2018, we worked with thousands of small and diverse businesses across the country, including 398 owned by women, 373 owned by minorities, 124 owned by veterans and 1,667 small businesses. 

In August 2018, we celebrated these partnerships by hosting the annual Billion Dollar Roundtable Summit, which recognizes companies that achieve spending of at least $1 billion with certified diverse suppliers that are primarily minority- or woman-owned. 

Our Supplier Diversity Program was recognized by several leading organizations in 2018. Among those accolades, the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council named CVS Health a Top Corporation for Women’s Business Enterprises, and we were ranked tenth nationally on Diversity Inc.’s list of Top 15 Supplier Diversity Programs.

Our Supplier Diversity team
Our Supplier Diversity team at the 2018 Billion Dollar Roundtable Summit

Continuing Growth

To continue the growth of our Supplier Diversity Program, we set new, ambitious spending targets for 2020:

  • Increase our annual spending with Tier I diverse- and women-owned suppliers to $1.5 billion. We had met that target by the end of 2018.

  • Increase our annual spending with Tier II diverse- and women-owned suppliers to $1 billion. In 2018, we increased our spending with diverse Tier II suppliers to $746 million and are on track to meet our target by the end of 2019. 

Our Supplier Diversity team works between our suppliers and business units to ensure that we are maximizing the potential of the partnership on both sides, through training, education and other development programs. One of those programs is our Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers, in partnership with Roger Williams University College, which helps diverse vendors gain critical management skills to expand their business relationships with CVS Health.

Additionally, our annual Supplier Diversity Ideation Session brings together CVS Health leaders from different lines of business, strategic partners, existing and potential diverse suppliers, and representatives from national minority councils to share experiences and best practices with the goal of increasing spend with diverse suppliers.

To learn more about the impacts and growth of the CVS Health Supplier Diversity Program, read the 2018 Supplier Diversity Economic Impact Report.

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CVS Health Ranks #27 on DiversityInc's 2019 Top 50 Companies for Diversity List

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05.08.19

Company also receives top spot on Supplier Diversity list for commitment to investing in a diverse supply chain

WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health has earned a spot on DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity list for the third consecutive year. This year's #27 ranking, up 13 spots from 2018, is in recognition of the company's commitment to promoting diversity across its enterprise. CVS Health was also named #1 in Top Companies for Supplier Diversity, following increased investments in its diverse supply chain.

"At CVS Health, we are committed to helping people of all backgrounds on their path to better health. Through strategic diversity management, we are helping to drive business growth, deepen relationships with customers and build an inclusive workplace that is reflective of the communities we serve," said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. "Receiving this honor for the third consecutive year is a testament to the work that all of our colleagues do every day to foster an inclusive workplace."

The DiversityInc Top 50 list, issued yearly since 2001, recognizes the nation's top companies for diversity and inclusion management. These companies excel in such areas as hiring, retaining and promoting women, minorities, people with disabilities, LGBT and veterans. The results were announced last evening during DiversityInc's signature event in New York City.

"Our ability to harness the power of both our differences and similarities is critical to success at CVS Health," said David Casey, Vice President, Workforce Strategies, and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. "We empower each of our nearly 300,000 colleagues to bring their own unique experiences to help serve our increasingly diverse customers and communities."

The recognition by DiversityInc is the latest in a series of third-party acknowledgments for CVS Health, including: Fortune's Most Admired Companies; Forbes Most Valuable Brands; Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 100 Best Corporate Citizens; Human Rights Campaign's Top Places to Work for LGBT Equality; Points of Light's The Civic 50; Military Times Best for Vets and Newsweek's Green Ranking of America's Greenest Companies.

To learn more about CVS Health's diversity and inclusion efforts, visit https://www.cvshealth.com/diversity. To view the entire Top 50 list and specialty lists, visit http://www.diversityinc.com/top50 or follow the conversation at #DITop50.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is the nation's premier health innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Whether in one of its pharmacies or through its health services and plans, CVS Health is pioneering a bold new approach to total health by making quality care more affordable, accessible, simple and seamless. CVS Health is community-based and locally focused, engaging consumers with the care they need when and where they need it. The Company has more than 9,900 retail locations, approximately 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 94 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year and expanding specialty pharmacy services. CVS Health also serves an estimated 38 million people through traditional, voluntary and consumer-directed health insurance products and related services, including rapidly expanding Medicare Advantage offerings and a leading standalone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. The Company believes its innovative health care model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts

Ethan Slavin, 860-273-6095
slavine@aetna.com

Mary Gattuso, 401-770-9811
Mary.Gattuso@cvshealth.com

 

SOURCE CVS Health

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Application Open for Fifth Annual Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers

Application Open for Fifth Annual Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers
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05.02.19

Applications for the 2019 Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers are now closed. Applications for next year's series will open in the spring of 2020.

At CVS Health, pursuing diversity within our supply chain is critical to our mission of helping people on their path to better health. As a health care innovation company, we rely on our suppliers to collaborate with our nearly 300,000 colleagues across all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Brazil to solve cost, quality and access issues within our industry’s evolving landscape.

Through our Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers, in partnership with the Center for Workforce & Professional Development at the Roger Williams University College, we’re helping diverse vendors gain critical management skills that allow them to expand their business relationships with CVS Health and drive their companies’ success in areas such as marketing, finance and human resources.

Fifteen applicants will be selected for the Executive Learning Series, which will take place between July 18 and October 24.

The program is completely funded by CVS Health and taught by the faculty of the Center for Workforce & Professional Development at the Roger Williams University College.

“The learnings from the CVS Executive Learning Series were incredibly powerful and will make a big difference as we continue to move forward in either pivoting into new industries and/or pursuing key clients… I enjoyed not only the material covered but the relationship and friendship that I now share with my fellow cohorts.  It’s amazing the way CVS selected because there are synergies based on our collective capabilities and I am pursuing discussions with some, where I think we can go after significant business to deliver on the supplier diversity mission — economic impact in our communicates.”

— Betty Manetta, President & CEO of Argent Associates, Inc.

The program will focus on building skills in areas such as finance and budget, leadership, management, technology, human resources and communications, and includes:

  • An intensive curriculum designed to expand capacity, skill level and growth potential in critical areas.

  • Practical experience, including an opportunity to respond to a sample Request for Proposal.

  • Support for introductions and relationship building with CVS Health procurement professionals.

  • The opportunity to join peers in a mutually supportive and lasting network.

The Center for Workforce and Professional Development at RWU's School of Continuing Studies and CVS Health developed the Executive Learning Series curriculum with help from several national diversity chambers and councils, including Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and Regional Partner Organizations, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Minority Supplier Development Council and its Regional Affiliates, National Veterans Business Development Council, Rainbow Push Coalition, U.S. Business Leadership Network and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

Students attending an Executive Learning Series class
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NYC Regional Learning Center Recognized for Customized Employment Efforts

NYC Regional Learning Center Recognized for Customized Employment Efforts
Bottom of the article
04.30.19
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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