WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 26, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), the nation's leading pharmacy health care provider, has surpassed its 10-year "Pathways to Pharmacy" goal of introducing one million youths to pharmacy as a potential career and met its target of $4 million in summer internship wages for high school students since 2000, the company reported today to Congress's Joint Economic Committee chaired by Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York and with Sen. Charles E. Schumer of New York serving as Vice Chair from the Senate.
The company provided this update in testimony to a Joint Economic Committee hearing entitled "Avoiding a Lost Generation: How to Minimize the Impact of the Great Recession on Young Workers." The hearing was called as part of Congress's effort to address the impact that the economic downturn has had on younger workers. Last month, one out of four teens (ages 16 to 19) was unemployed and one out of six younger adults (ages 20 to 24) was also jobless.
Created by CVS Caremark in partnership with the nonprofit group America's Promise in 2000 to encourage younger workers to consider careers in pharmacy, Pathways to Pharmacy is one of several CVS Caremark programs to receive national attention for its significant impact on workforce education in cities across the country. The summer internship component of Pathways to Pharmacy alone includes 1,800 teenagers in more than 40 cities every year. The six- to eight-week internships include classroom education on customer service and pharmacy science and hands-on experience at CVS/pharmacy stores. Some programs also include orientation sessions at local colleges of pharmacy. Following their internships, students are eligible to continue working at CVS/pharmacy and to work toward national certification as pharmacy technicians.
To illustrate the impact of programs like Pathways to Pharmacy, CVS Caremark Director of Workforce Initiatives Steve Wing today told the Joint Economic Committee about one young pharmacy technician at a CVS/pharmacy store in the Chicago area who came to the company through a Pathways to Pharmacy internship in 2006, the summer before her senior year in high school.
"Veronica, who is now 20, fell in love with the profession of pharmacy," Wing said. "She is now a junior at the University of Illinois at Chicago, with definitive plans to enroll in a four-year pharmacy school after she graduates. She has worked at the same CVS/pharmacy store since her internship, progressing from intern to pharmacy sales associate to certified pharmacy technician, her current position. Veronica's parents, who never graduated high school, are extremely proud of her. And as powerful as her story is, Veronica is one of countless outstanding CVS/pharmacy employees who came to us via Pathways to Pharmacy and stayed with us for years."
CVS Caremark's Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Lisa Bisaccia noted that the thousands of talented and hard-working colleagues who have joined CVS Caremark through programs like Pathways to Pharmacy now are contributing directly to the company's success.
"Our investments in training and in workforce development have helped us meet the need for good jobs in the communities we serve while also meeting our own need for colleagues who can deliver the best customer service in our industry," she said. "Having seen the impact that Pathways to Pharmacy and other workforce initiatives have had for our company, we are happy to share what we have learned along the way with Congress and with the business community."
About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. Through our integrated offerings across the entire spectrum of pharmacy care, we are uniquely positioned to provide greater access, to engage plan members in behaviors that improve their health, and to lower overall health care costs for health plans, plan sponsors and their members. CVS Caremark is a market leader in mail order pharmacy, retail pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, and retail clinics, and is a leading provider of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As one of the country's largest pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), we provide access to a network of more than 64,000 pharmacies, including approximately 7,000 CVS/pharmacy(R) stores that provide unparalleled service and capabilities. Our clinical expertise includes one of the industry's most comprehensive disease management programs. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Company's Web site at http://info.cvscaremark.com.