CSAVR's Abilities in Abundance: Our Continued Commitment to Inclusive Employment - Transcript

Video transcript and descriptions:

CVS Health logo

Abilities in Abundance

Logos of The NET National Employment Team and CSAVR, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation

Leslie Reis, Senior Manager of Workforce Initiatives, CVS Health, Pennsylvania

Our vision really is around helping people on their path to better health. Right? And when you have a disability program and you are able to have those colleagues in your stores or in your business in any capacity, it definitely engages the community.

Background: a young woman checking out a customer.

Ricky Albert Derring II, District Leader, CVS Health, Virginia

When I left the military, you know, I was really worried about a changing in career. I was in the military for 15 years. So leaving the military, I was really scared. Not of finding a job, not of finding work or employment, I was more worried about finding a purpose.

Background of him stocking and straightening goods on the shelves.

Yani Hurst, Workforce Initiatives Manager, CVS Health, Texas

So many misconceptions out there about what people with disabilities can’t do, shouldn’t do instead of just asking someone can you do this? Should you do this? Are you able to do this? People assume what other individuals can do and often times are very wrong.

Background of Renee Smith being trained on checking out someone.

Renee Smith, Customer Service, CVS Health, Maryland

I do think that there have been misperceptions. I think that people think that because you have a disability, that you can’t do anything and that’s simply not true.

Background of Renee Smith stocking the shelves.

Kathy West-Evans, Director of Business Relations, National Employment Team

I think when you’re looking at dual customer strategy you’ve got to look at it from a couple of different points. Number one, you’ve got a lot of people who are looking at careers and now have a career path where they have an opportunity to grow. So, with CVS, you can come in and work retail and if you are interested in pharmacy, they’ll help you get into the pharmacy tech training program.

Luke Rogic, Pharmacy technician, CVS Health, Maryland

And I got an externship through one of their programs that they have for people that, you know, have learning disabilities or disabilities and then afterwards, after I finish that and I got hired I was contacted about being the first apprenticeship for the state of Maryland with CVS for pharmacy technician.

Background of Luke behind a pharmacy counter counting out pills.

Abebe Samuel, Customer Service, CVS Health, Maryland, using Sign Language

An ASL interpreter speaking: At first when I kept being denied with my applications, I was very sad and I felt like those companies just didn’t understand deaf culture. But when I came to WTC I decided to be really assertive and I just said, “You know what? Forget all those other places. Forget them. Where else can I apply that would be a good fit for me?”

Background of Abebe stocking the shelves and giving a thumbs up when done.

Darlene Peregoy, Program Manager for Business Relations, Maryland Division of Rehabilitation Services

Working with businesses can be challenging because there are a lot of myths and misconceptions about individuals with disabilities. They don’t know enough about disability and the abilities that folks can bring to their workforce. They don’t know the value in partnering with vocational rehabilitation that can be a support to them.

Kathy West-Evans:

The National Employment Team is based on the philosophy of dual customer approach, understanding that we’ve got great talent and we’ve got great opportunity. Our role is to make the connection.

Amanda Tierney, Workforce Initiatives Manager, CVS Health, New York

Working with voc-rehab agencies has been extremely beneficial to CVS. Yes. They – they get us to that halfway point. They’re extremely crucial to our success.

Joshua Eatmon, Shipping and Fulfillment, CVS Health, Alabama using sign language:

An ASL interpreter speaking: So, vocational rehab has been very beneficial in helping me to locate work and just with job readiness in general.

Background video shows Joshua pushing a cart and picking up inventory from a warehouse like room.

Leslie Reis:

You know, we are sitting here in a workforce development VR agency. We have a simulated training site where they can take a little bit more time than we’re provided on the job to go over the fine details for that customer and to have them understand our business before they even hit our door.

Backgound of the training site shelves and inventory.

Amanda Tierney:

Because of all the training that they go through, they’re a lot more confident. They’re able to get out there and talk to our customers. They talk the talk, they walk the walk, they look the part.

Kevin Kan, Customer Service, CVS Health, New York

I use my iPad to take pictures of the items that I use, of every aisle that I go to.

Background of Kevin taking pictures of the shelves and the stock on the shelves.

Leslie Reis:

When you think about a reasonable accommodation and you put it in layman’s terms for a store manager, your question really is, what do I need to provide to my employee that’s going to make them more efficient and effective at their job?

Celia Lichtman, Shift Supervisor, CVS Health, Maryland

This program has been really beneficial and that it gave me an opportunity when I felt like my opportunity would never come, my big breakthrough moment.

Background of Celia and two men in suits walking down the aisle discussing store business.

Amanda Tierney:

Hiring someone with a disability increases a couple of things, so not only does it increase our talent pipeline, but it increases our talent pipeline with someone that is very loyal who has worked very hard to get that job so they’re not going to take it for granted.

Kathy West-Evans:

And when you work with individuals with disabilities, these are people who are very innovative every day of their life.

Kaylee Merrick, Customer Service, CVS Health, Virginia

My thing is, with us, it’s more of a milestone we’ve hit and we keep going on so there’s never boredom, there’s always improvements that we go through. It takes longer, but it’s very rewarding once we get there.

Background video of Kaylee stocking and checking inventory.

Austin Fernandez, Customer Service, CVS Health, Texas

Well the main goal was to build up my resume but it evolved into having a job and making friends and building confidence with the workplace, as well.

Background of Austin sacking someone purchase.

Axel Garay, Training Store Manager, CVS Health, Maryland

As a company talking as a CVS Company, it can help develop a sense of diversity that we believe that there’s always a role within our store, CVS pharmacy whether it’s a pharmacy, whether it’s a manager, whether it’s a beauty consultant, whether it’s any role that we have in our store, we have many different roles and it helps us show our clientele, our guest, that we’re open, that we’re open to impact the community, right? And the path of leading, you know, to better health.

Austin Fernandez:

This is a very welcoming company and that they are very accepting to any type of disability that you have.

Jessica Hawes, Staff Specialist for Employment Services, Maryland Workforce and Technology Center

What makes CVS special, I believe is, the ability to be able to see what a government agency and a corporate agency can really do for each other.

Quinn Simpson, Customer Service, CVS Health, Maryland

If I had to talk to companies that don’t have training programs the way that CVS had this one, then I would want to tell them about all the hard working employees that they’re missing out on.

Rick Sizemore, Former Director, Wilson Workforce and Rehabilitation Center, Virginia

Look, here’s the opportunity for you to answer the question of where will the workforce of tomorrow come from and its people with disabilities.

Background video of Austin checking out a customer at the register.

Amanda Tierney

Hiring someone with a disability shouldn’t always need a program or shouldn’t always need advocates. It should just be something that everybody accepts on an everyday basis and it’s just – there’s not a second thought. It’s just the way that we do business.

The NET National Employment Team logo

CSAVR, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation, logo

Abilities in Abundance

CVS Health