JEVS Human Services in partnership with CVS Health opened a pharmacy technician program at their new Workforce Innovation Talent Center, located at Orleans Technical College. In the program, students will be trained in a mock CVS pharmacy to receive hands-on training.
The WITC is the largest program of its kind in Philadelphia. The first two cohorts of classes have finished and a third is in progress.
“Over the course of 10 weeks, JEVS and CVS will provide adults with the training, skills and certification that won’t just give them a job with living wage positions but opens endless doors for them to achieve an incredible diversity of career aspirations in the healthcare arena,” said Nandi Jones Clement, vice president of business development at JEVS, in a press release.
The new program furthers JEVS’ mission of meeting people where they are and breaking down barriers to employment. Jay Spector, president and CEO of JEVS Human Services, explained that barriers such as disabilities, low income and lack of child care can keep individuals from reaching employment.
“We try to intervene and help the individual get support where there may not be any,” Spector said. “We can show them community resources that will help them succeed.”
Spector spoke of a high demand for the classes they offer and cited reasons as a demand for these trade jobs and reaching a point where people are rethinking their current careers.
Malik Mshinda is a person who decided to switch careers. A former nursing assistant, she said her expanding family didn’t allow her to work the demanding hours of her previous job.
Mshinda was one of nine graduates of the inaugural class at WITC. She is hoping to be employed by CVS in September. Mshinda added that the instructors were very helpful and available.
“There really was no such thing as a stupid question,” Mshinda said. WITC offered a virtual hybrid program due to COVID-19 and the online classes allowed Mshinda to complete school work, after working overnight and spending time with her seven kids during the day.
After students complete the program, they are offered assistance with job placement, and can advance their education with apprenticeship programs and externships. Mshinda is thinking about advancing her career to pharmacy. ••