It may have been raining outside, but that didn’t stop the excitement coming from the Regis College Student Center, April 21. Inside, there was nothing but sunshine. What an incredible morning!
Riverside’s Regional Employment Collaboratives have partnered with CVS Health to create a unique training program. This program prepares individuals challenged by a disability such as lack of sight, a developmental disability, a mobility issue, or a mental illness for jobs. 48 graduates of the CVS Store Experience Training Program joined families and friends to receive their official certificates of completion. The room reverberated with cheers and applause as graduates took the stage.
The Riverside Regional Employment Collaboratives Team, CVS Health Staff, and Jonathan DaSilva, the Boston Learning Center Manager from CVS Health Workforce Initiatives, work together to ensure participants complete this workforce training program. Participants experience what it is like to work at a CVS store. They learn how to provide customer service, merchandising, and various other retail store tasks. Gradates learn valuable skills that they can take to any workplace. As DaSilva stated, during his speech, we are not here to just provide people with jobs, we are here to find them careers. This is a program that celebrates inclusion, commitment, and diversity. We are focusing not on disabilities, but abilities.
If you had the opportunity to hear Suzanne speak, a training program graduate and now CVS employee, you were fortunate enough to see firsthand the success of this program in action. Suzanne addressed graduates and guests, speaking about the skills she learned through the program: teamwork, how to be supportive of others, professionalism, and self-esteem. “I love working with the public. I feel valued, independent, and important,” Suzanne said during her speech.
What is the next step? Graduates will prepare their applications for jobs at CVS or wherever else they choose. Armed with the tools and skills they need to be successful in the workplace, I am sure they’ll be onto great things. On behalf of Riverside, congratulations graduates and good luck!
~Stephanie Marks, Director, Riverside Employment Collaboratives
Our Employment Collaboratives are Riverside-led partnerships of provider organizations and state agencies working together to improve employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities. The Riverside Employment Collaborative Team works together to engage many types of employers with a large pool of untapped, qualified candidates. Learn more about this program.