Young Mothers – A Part Of CVS Health’s Success

Co-authored by David Casey and Molly Baldwin 

Can a company listed #7 on the Fortune 500 ranking learn anything from a group of eight young mothers? And can eight women who became mothers before graduating high school see a multi-billion dollar company as a welcoming place of growth and opportunity? The surprising answer to both questions is yes.  Absolutely yes.

Last spring, a group of eight mothers completed CVS Health CVS -0.75%’s 10-week training program in Chelsea, Mass. to become Pharmacy Technicians. It wasn’t an easy lift for them. These young women are enrolled in Roca, a program aimed at the highest risk young mothers in the Greater Boston area who are not ready, willing or able to participate in traditional programs. Job training, evening school or parenting skills programs wouldn’t advance this group, because research shows they will drop out after any of these programs start, or won’t show up to begin with.

Roca program image

For this hard-to-serve population, Roca exists. The organization is famous for its relentless outreach and its recurring attempts to engage young people in the program until participants learn to trust staff, attend classes and trainings, and start changing their own lives. When they reach the point they are interested in finding a job, Roca helps them prepare, learn basic job skills, and find the right position.

More than just a job – it’s a career

CVS Health has experienced tremendous growth in the past few years. With more than 9,600 pharmacies across the country, the company finished 2015 with net revenue of over $153 billion. And with growth comes new markets, new pharmacies and of course – new employees. In order to find the best employees, CVS Health doesn’t limit itself to traditional talent sources. A set of programs and community partnerships with CVS Health brings in unbelievably talented workers from previously-untapped pools to the world of pharmacy.

CVS Health’s partnership with Roca to bring the company’s Pharmacy Technician Training to Roca’s participants is a great example of this bold strategy. As Roca has learned, this training is a gateway to abundant career pathways within the company and the pharmacy industry at large. For very young mothers who have only recently completed their high school equivalency education, and who face immense challenges in providing for themselves and their children, this is a life-altering opportunity.

For CVS Health to thrive, partnerships like the one with Roca are essential. By serving millions of people each day, it’s important to have a workforce that reflects both the customers as well as the communities where they live. The young mothers the company has met through Roca are passionate, hard-working and eager-to-succeed prospective employees. Their personal experiences and stories help to shape CVS Health’s story, and make it a company in which innovation and talent acquisition go hand in hand.

David L. Casey is Vice President, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. Molly Baldwin is the Founder and CEO of Roca, Inc.

The GradsofLifeVoice Forbes team provides thought leadership, research and expert commentary on innovative talent pipelines and related issues such as the skills gap, income inequality, workforce diversity, and the business case for employment pathways. We seek to change employers’ perceptions of young adults with atypical resumes from social liabilities to economic assets. This post was originally featured here.

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