CVS Caremark and JVS Announce Grand Opening of the Boston Regional Learning Center

BOSTON, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Today CVS Caremark, in partnership with Jewish Vocational Service and their One-Stop Career Center, officially opened the company's first CVS/pharmacy Regional Learning Center in Boston. CVS Caremark and JVS share a similar goal, to empower disadvantaged individuals from diverse communities to find employment and build careers. JVS will provide pre- and post-employment services to trainees, while CVS Caremark will provide a corporate learning center to hire and develop associates.

The Regional Learning Center houses classrooms and a mock CVS/pharmacy store -- complete with a state-of-art pharmacy, photo lab and beauty center -- to train new and current associates, from entry level to management. In 2008, CVS Caremark and JVS aim to train more than 3,000 new and current employees at this center, providing significant workplace advancement opportunities for the Boston community. A portion of these trainees will be welfare-to-work participants as well as refugees.

"CVS Caremark has a long history of forging innovative workforce partnerships, like this one with JVS, with the intention of providing people of all backgrounds the opportunity to find good jobs and advance along a career path," said Mike Ferdinandi, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Corporate Communications and Community Relations, CVS Caremark. "We have seen outstanding career success for our employees across all our Regional Learning Centers throughout the country and we are excited to bring a similar training program to the Boston community."

"Thanks to CVS Caremark's training program, thousands of Boston's residents will be able to develop the skills needed to be successful in the workplace," said Jerry Rubin, President and Chief Executive Officer of JVS. "We are honored to support such a remarkable program and partner with an organization that shares a common goal of opening the doors to jobs with real career and earning potential for the Boston community."

CVS Caremark has eight other Regional Learning Centers located in Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta, Cleveland, New York, southern New Jersey and Washington, D.C. Since 1996, the company has hired more than 60,000 people who had been on public assistance through its welfare-to-work program. More than 60 percent of all employees trained at the Regional Learning Centers are still actively employed, and the majority have been promoted at least twice -- a high success rate for the retail industry. JVS is the largest workforce developer in Massachusetts and has been helping Boston area residents and employers develop jobs, skills and careers since 1938.

An ongoing CVS Caremark study also helps underscore the success of the Regional Learning Centers. Among the key findings to date:

-- Associates who trained at a Regional Learning Center were over 30 percent more likely than non-Regional Learning Center associates to be on the job after the first 30 days of employment. -- Associates who trained at a Regional Learning Center were over 50 percent more likely to be promoted than non-Regional Learning Center associates.

The local partnership between CVS Caremark and JVS Boston resulted from a broader national partnership with International Association of Jewish Vocational Services on other workforce initiatives. Another joint CVS Caremark and JVS Boston initiative is the Lifelong Learning Accounts, a pilot program launching in Boston this summer to provide matching savings accounts for eligible employees, with the goals of educating them about personal finance and helping them pursue college.