|Neighborhood Networks, the Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks Consortium, and CVS Caremark Partner to Provide Residents with Employment Opportunities|
Philadelphia, PA—The launching of a new ship often involves breaking a bottle of champagne on the bow. The opening of a new building is often accompanied by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. And, to announce the formation of the workforce development partnership between Neighborhood Networks, the Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks Consortium (PNNC), and CVS Caremark, the threesome decided that a career fair was the ideal event.
Held on July 28, 2009, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Montgomery Townhouses Neighborhood Networks Center, the partnership kickoff and career fair gathered the managers of 41 CVS pharmacy stores located in six regions of the city to discuss employment opportunities with residents of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Federal Housing Administration (FHA)-insured and -assisted communities. During the event, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown spoke about Philadelphia’s unemployment issues and how private/community partnerships, like CVS and the PNNC, can improve the situation. Neighborhood Networks National Director Delores Pruden also spoke at the event, describing the Initiative and the importance of Neighborhood Networks consortia. Christopher Jackson, human resources director for CVS stated that CVS Caremark is committed to interviewing candidates and offering rewarding career opportunities that make a difference in communities across the Philadelphia region. Approximately 70 people attended the event, including residents from the property and surrounding community, civic leaders, and corporate leaders.
During the career fair, 14 residents applied for positions and were interviewed by CVS store managers. CVS managers said several of these job candidates are being considered for second interviews.
From left to right, City Councilman At-Large Blondell Reynolds Brown; Executive Director for Dress for Success Philadelphia Marjorie Nighttingale; HUD Philadelphia Multifamily Hub Director Encarnacion Loukatos; Neighborhood Networks Director Delores Pruden; CVS Caremark Workforce Initiatives Director Steve Wing; Vice President of Social Services for Interstate Realty Management Olivette Beaton; and President of the Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks Consortium Annie Foster.
About the Partnership
Through the partnership, the PNNC will provide residents with life- and job-skills training that will help prepare them for careers at CVS pharmacy stores. CVS Caremark, the largest provider of prescriptions in the nation, will provide residents with opportunities for career growth and advancement.
“This partnership comes at a time when unemployment for the Philadelphia region is at its highest since 1992,” said Annie Foster, senior computer facilitator for Montgomery Townhouses Neighborhood Networks Center. “The goal of the PNNC and our center is to change these bleak statistics by helping residents obtain employment.”
The two organizations’ complementary missions strengthen the partnership between the PNNC and CVS Caremark. The PNNC receives financial and technological resources to support a network of Neighborhood Networks centers. These centers provide programs and services that fulfill HUD’s Neighborhood Networks Initiative’s mission of promoting self-sufficiency and obtaining access to technology. Similarly, the mission of the CVS Caremark Workforce Initiatives program is to hire, train, develop, retain, and support the life-long learning of diverse, qualified associates by establishing partnerships with local, state, and federal agencies; educational institutions; nonprofit organizations; and faith-based organizations.
During the Neighborhood Networks, Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks Consortium, and CVS Caremark workforce development partnership launch, CVS store managers conducted on-the-spot interviews with residents.
CVS Caremark intends to broaden the partnership with the PNNC by launching a job shadowing program. Through the program, youth will have the opportunity to shadow CVS associates, managers, and pharmacists to learn about the skills and qualifications necessary for each position. The program will also provide youth with on-the-job experience at select CVS stores.
CVS Caremark has also committed to a national partnership with Neighborhood Networks with plans for expansion to additional U.S. cities.
“It really is a win-win situation for all parties,” said Foster. “The Neighborhood Networks centers that are members of the PNNC will have the opportunity to help residents become more self-sufficient through employment. In addition, our younger residents will gain exposure to potential careers, allowing them to establish careers goals, which Neighborhood Networks centers are more than happy to help them achieve. Meanwhile, CVS Caremark gains access to a pool of potential employees.”
Approximately 70 people attended the Neighborhood Networks, Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks Consortium, and CVS Caremark partnership launch, including residents from the property and surrounding community, civic leaders, and corporate leaders.
For more information on the PNNC, visit their site. Information on Neighborhood Networks, partnerships, and consortia can be found on the Neighborhood Networks Web site.
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