This newly established goal, which coincides with the U.S. Department of Labor’s National Apprenticeship Week, reflects an expansion of the company’s Registered Apprenticeship program to seven additional states, including Arizona, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, bringing the total number of statewide apprenticeship programs supported by CVS Health to 18.
The CVS Registered Apprenticeship Program provides participants with structured training to maintain the high level of skills needed in complex fields such as pharmacy care and prescription benefit management, and equips participants with a nationally recognized credential that will help them advance in their careers.
“The widening skills gap in the U.S. is a significant business concern, and companies large and small are seeing this workplace strategy that combines on-the-job training with classroom instruction as a viable solution to build a pipeline of future skilled talent,” Lisa Bisaccia, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for CVS Health, said in a statement.
As part of its apprenticeship strategy, CVS Health works with community organizations across the country to source a consistent pipeline of apprentices including federal, state and local government organizations, public workforce agencies, community colleges, community-based nonprofits and faith-based organizations to provide candidate referrals from untapped pools of talent.
“Meaningful work and a defined career track can provide a source of dignity, pride and identity, which participants are able to gain through our Registered Apprenticeship programs,” added Bisaccia.
CVS Health became the first employer to launch a U.S. Department of Labor Registered Apprenticeship program for pharmacy technicians in 2005. Through 2017, the company has had more than 4,700 colleagues join its Registered Apprenticeship career tracks for retail pharmacy, prescription benefit management and retail store management.
CVS Health is among a growing number of U.S. companies investing in earn-and-learn apprenticeship programs, due in part to the nation’s skills gap. Today, there are more than 6 million vacant jobs that American workers are unable to fill the highest level on record, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reported in 2015 that the country is projected to produce one million fewer technical workers than is needed over the next decade.
“Apprenticeships help job creators fill open positions with skilled job seekers,” stated U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “CVS Health’s goal to hire thousands more apprentices reflects the strength of the apprenticeship model. The Administration is pleased to see the creation of more opportunities for Americans to learn the skills they need to find family-sustaining jobs.”
The U.S. Department of Labor has designated Nov. 13 to 19 as the third annual National Apprenticeship Week, a nationwide opportunity for companies, trade and industry groups, nonprofit organizations, unions, labor-management organizations, and educational institutions to highlight how apprenticeships prepare American workers for the jobs of today and the future.