Walgreens is launching a pilot program in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to broaden its workforce and disability inclusion initiatives.
The program aims to hire people with disabilities for 10% of service clerk openings at stores in the area. On average, Walgreens hires more than 1,600 service clerks a year in this area alone.
“Once this pilot program is proven successful, we intend to expand it to other markets around the country in 2011. We’ve designed facilities and training for people with disabilities to help drive opportunity, efficiency and productivity at our distribution centers,” said Randy Lewis , Walgreens senior vice president of supply chain and logistics, who spearheaded the company’s decision to create an integrated and inclusive workplace. “Now, we’re taking those tools and bringing them to the store level to help create and maintain a diversified workforce. Emphasizing people’s abilities is our strength that will help everyone succeed.”
A partnership between Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and the Walgreens Waxahachie distribution center resulted in a successful spin-off training program for Walgreens stores, which led to the new pilot. The company is again working with DARS to ensure Walgreens needs and those of people with disabilities are served.
“Once this pilot program is proven successful, we intend to expand it to other markets around the country in 2011,” Lewis said.
Training lasts about four weeks and will take place in at least 10 area store locations. The goal is to prepare qualified candidates for store positions as well as positions in any business that requires the same kind of skills, and ultimately see them hired.
“This initiative shows how we can use our community relationships to help everyone we serve,” said Erv Siemoneit, Dallas market vice president for Walgreens. “The Metroplex is also a great place to see how this program can grow.”