Many organizations give lip service to employing a diverse workforce, and some actively recruit workers of all races, both sexes and all ages. But CVS Caremark takes this commitment a bit further, with workforce development programs aimed at young adults with intellectual and learning disabilities through the vocational training nonprofit Ken's Krew; low-income and "disconnected" youth through a White House summer jobs initiative; and job seekers older than 50 through ASA, AARP, NCOA and other aging services organizations.
As ASA board member David Nevison says of his son Robert's employment at CVS, "It's a nice success story on every level. They're helping people who otherwise would have trouble being productive in their community." Robert has intellectual disabilities, but he likes interacting with people and has always had a real appreciation for order, says Nevison. His job stocking and straightening shelves and providing customer service at CVS is a good fit, and Robert takes great pride in it.
Having only worked at CVS for about two months, he is still involved in their extensive training. First there was a screening and skills assessment, then he began intensive one-on-one training with a job coach. The other day, Nevison says, the trainer purposefully arrived late, to see how Robert would fare without her instruction. He had figured out what to do and was working unaided when she arrived.
Accomplishments like this further prepare Robert to "be a responsible person in the community," according to Nevison, who spoke of his hope as a parent that his son "can function independently, and better understand on a basic level how the world operates. …