Disabilityworks' Board Member Joins White House Celebration: Describes Model Employer Programs for People With Disabilities
Mark Wagner, Executive Vice President for Drug Store Operations at Walgreens, writes:
"Recently, Randy Lewis, Senior VP of Supply Chain and Logistics, and I had the honor to attend the July 26, 2010 White House celebration commemorating the 20th anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act. At the reception, President Obama spoke about the journey it took to bring equality and equal access to people with disabilities, and announced many recent accomplishments including an executive order for the federal government to hire more people with disabilities. People with disabilities only make up 5 percent of the federal workforce. I think this is a great pledge, as it sets an example for all businesses and organizations to analyze their hiring practices and consider employing individuals with disabilities."
"While we have always hired people with disabilities here at Walgreens, in the past few years, we have made efforts to steadily increase the number of team members with disabilities in our workforce. In our distribution centers, currently 7.6 percent of production jobs are filled by team members with disabilities. Our goal is to increase that percentage to 10 percent for distribution centers and stores. We encourage people with disabilities to go to our website, Walgreens Outreach, which provides information about our employment opportunities for people with disabilities in all areas of our company."
"Another program that we're testing in Dallas and New York metro areas is called Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative (REDI). In this program, we are working with a state agency to help provide training and placement for individuals with disabilities to become Walgreens team members. This is a unique program to offer opportunities to prospective employees, and we are looking at expanding this program to other areas in the future. Additionally, we are excited with the progress of the Walgreens One Portal Employment Referral project in Chicago that we have been partnering on with Disabilityworks."
"Through these initiatives to broaden our workforce, we are continuing to demonstrate that Walgreens is an inclusive workplace for everyone, including individuals with disabilities."
Disabilityworks and the more than 130 businesses who comprise Disabilityworks' Business Leadership Network welcome Walgreens' leadership and daily demonstration of "best practices" to broaden the workplace, marketplace, and supply chain for people with disabilities.
On the same day of the White House celebration, a significant presentation took place at Chicago's Wrigley Field. There to recognize Walgreens for their progressive employment practices, Director Warren Ribley (at left) of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity presented Walgreens Market Vice President, John Grant (at center), with special honors at the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce July 26th, 2010 Board of Directors meeting.
Accepting the "Disabilityworks Certificate of Appreciation for Innovation in Hiring People with Disabilities," John Grant reaffirmed Walgreen's commitment to hiring qualified workers with disabilities in front of 100 Chamber members led by Chamber Chairwoman Deborah DeHaas (at right).