Department of Human Services Teams Up with CVS Health to Provide Workforce Training to Individuals with Disabilities

The collaboration is offering a new way to receive real world training and experience in a pharmacy setting.
Wednesday, May 08, 2019 | 03:29pm

Smyrna – The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) has joined with CVS Health to unveil an innovative program to help individuals with disabilities find jobs in Tennessee’s growing health care industry.

The partnership recently constructed a mock CVS Pharmacy inside the Vocational Rehabilitation program’s Tennessee Rehabilitation Center (TRC) in Smyrna where students are now receiving job training in two areas that lead to consideration for a career with CVS Health, the nation’s premier healthcare innovation company with more than 4,700 colleagues in the state.

  • Customer Care:  The Customer Care portion of the training builds students’ skills in all aspects of working in the retail operations of a CVS Pharmacy including customer service, reading planograms, stocking, developing displays, phone etiquette, and cashier work that are important skills to hone for any retail career.
  • Pharmacy Tech:  The Pharmacy Tech curriculum designed by CVS Health prepares students for taking and passing the certification exam to become a Certified Pharmacy Technician in Tennessee.  During the training, students learn the important skills of sorting medications, creating medication labels, reviewing medication side effects, and greeting customers that are required for certification, as well as the skills needed to work in a CVS Pharmacy.

All students who complete the program have the opportunity to apply and interview for a position with CVS Pharmacy in retail operations or, if certified as a Pharmacy Technician, following the completion of the training program.

"CVS Health is focused on breaking down the employment barriers that individuals with disabilities face, and through this partnership with TDHS, we aim to help close the unemployment gap for more people in Tennessee,” said Lisa Bisaccia, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, CVS Health. "We are proud to be working together to help people with disabilities access the security and prosperity that stable jobs can provide, while also helping CVS Health fill our open roles with diverse, dedicated and talented colleagues.”

The collaboration with CVS Health continues a greater focus that TDHS has had to more closely connect TRC Smyrna with employers in Middle Tennessee and across the state. Every student at the TRC now takes part in workplace learning that’s connected with an employer.

“The collaborations we have with employers are creating competitive integrated employment opportunities in places where they haven’t always existed for individuals with disabilities,” said TDHS Commissioner Danielle W. Barnes.  “There are pharmacies and retail stores in nearly every community in Tennessee and our students will be leaving TRC Smyrna with the foundation they need to be successful in employment. These opportunities help to bridge individuals, communities and business, which will allow Tennessee as a whole to thrive”

TRC Smyrna is one of only eight comprehensive training centers of its kind in the nation that provides training for Vocational Rehabilitation program customers who are seeking community based employment opportunities within their home communities that are integrated and at competitive wages.

In addition to the Customer Care and Pharmacy Technician programs with CVS Health, TRC Smyrna offers instructional training programs in Automotive Detail/Lubrication Technician, Business Education Technology, Logistics & Assembly, Certified Production Technician, Food Service, Power Equipment, and Business Development.

Learn more about the Tennessee Department of Human Services at