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As part of an effort to help nonprofits navigate through the pandemic, CVS Health nearly $700K in COVID-19 relief funding in 2021 to help stabilize the operations of several of its Workforce Innovation and Talent Center (WITC) partners throughout the country. This support helped partners bridge the gap in funding they faced during the pandemic, which will enter its third year this month. As a result, these partners have been able to continue to make an impact on the lives of the people they serve — either in person or through remote programming.

CVS Health’s WITCs are part of a longstanding commitment to providing employment services and training to underserved populations, including individuals with disabilities, mature workers, youth and veterans. They offer trainings for individuals seeking employment as pharmacy technicians, customer service associates, call center associates and retail associates. They include a simulated retail store that offers hands-on job training and soon, select centers will offer on-site supportive services that will provide increased access to housing, transportation, childcare, health care, education and financial readiness. Individuals who complete the program qualify to apply for a position at CVS Health.

“The support we’ve provided our Workforce Innovation and Talent Center partners is helping them to sustain critical programs to people seeking employment opportunities,” said David Casey, Senior Vice President of Workforce Strategies, and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health. “By working closely with these partners, we are breaking down employment barriers that may have been exacerbated by the pandemic and helping to ensure individuals have access to the tools they need to reach their full potential.”

The funding will support the following partners through the CVS Health Workforce Innovation Talent Centers network:

  • Jewish Vocational Services (Boston WITC)

    • A $150K grant will support career services needed to continue serving existing clients and new clients impacted by the pandemic and will help job seekers across Massachusetts pursue their career aspirations through Vocational Certificate Programs, Bridges to College, English language learning programs, disability services, refugee and immigrant services, pre-employment services and many other programs.

  • JEVS Human Services (Philadelphia WITC)

    • A $150K grant has provided individuals with access to opportunities and careers in the health care industry through JEVS’ EduConnect, a program that provides accessible, flexible, affordable, and opportunity for individuals to attend and succeed in CVS Health’s workforce initiatives programs and prepare them for the real demands of health care fields.

  • The Centers/El Barrio (Cleveland WITC)

    • Funding from a $150K grant helped sustain El Barrio’s operations and continue its workforce programs virtually which focused on job readiness training, job placement services and job retention services. The support was also used to cover direct client assistance such as purchases of bus passes, gas cards, work attire, and work supplies.

  • Consortium for Customized Employment (CCE) (New York WITC)

  • Ebenezer Baptist Church (Pittsburgh WITC)

    • Funding from a $150K grant has provided a variety of programs and services for individuals, including free vision care, back-to-school supplies, financial assistance through the organization’s Emergency Community Relief Fund and tuition coverage for the Ebenezer/CCI Pharmacy Tech Training Program .

“The support we received from CVS Health helped us sustain our operations, allowing us to offer our employment program at the WITC in New York to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said Monica Santos, Chief Program Officer, Services for the UnderServed. “The partnership with CVS Health continues to make an impact on the lives of the people we serve and provide them with opportunities to thrive.”

CVS Health currently has seven WITCs nationwide, including in Boston; Cleveland; New York; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia (two locations); and Pittsburgh.

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