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Workforce Initiatives Spotlight: Career Center East

Group of recent Career Center East Pharmacy Technician program graduates.

To ensure that we are attracting and equipping diverse talent for careers with CVS Health, our Workforce Initiatives team partners with local communities, schools, faith-based organizations and many others to create programs that promote successful employment transitions, career development and advancement.

One of those partners is Career Center East (CCE). Located in Lewisville, Texas, CCE provides quality educational programs for students grades 10-12 to achieve their fullest potential in the pursuit of advanced education and high-skill training for careers in in-demand industries.

Here, Lisa Powers, health sciences and pharmacy technician program director at CCE, shares more about the CVS Health partnership and how it’s setting students up for success after high school.

Describe the pharmacy technician program at Career Center East.

The pharmacy technician program serves seniors within the Lewisville Independent School District from five different high schools. Students complete classroom studies during their sophomore and junior years, including principles of health, medical terminology, health science and clinical theory and then take the pharmacy technician course during their senior year, registering with the State of Texas as pharmacy technicians in-training. Upon completion of the course, students who pass the pharmacy technician certification exam are then licensed certified pharmacy technicians.

What role does CVS Health play in the program?

CVS Health offers our pharmacy technician students a nine-week externship opportunity at a local CVS Pharmacy, where they gain valuable hands-on experience and mentoring from pharmacy professionals. Students work three days a week for 2.5 hours as unpaid pharmacy technicians in-training. This program gives them the opportunity to build skills that will make them successful in life: customer service, communication, multi-tasking, etc. They experience every avenue of the job. This gives them confidence and allows them to feel accomplished in knowing they are completing a real job with real meaning.

How has the program grown since its start?

We currently serve an average of 50 to 60 high-school seniors each year, with the numbers growing each year. The 2017-2018 school year celebrated 50 students who attained certified pharmacy technician status, bringing the total to 150 in the five years since the program began.

How do students benefit from the program and the partnership with CVS Health?

Many of our students come full circle by getting jobs with CVS Health during or at the end of their internships. High-school students are often unsure of what the world has in store for them. This program gives students a chance to start their careers on a positive path of progression. They have a safety net built in should life throw anything in their path. It's an amazing opportunity for them to walk out of high school with skills and a career they can use forever in so many different capacities. From a future in pharmacy to business, it's setting them up for success.

January 15, 2019