Sean Ware was lovingly raised by a single mom on Pittsburgh’s East Side. She made sure he and his siblings never went without. As a young man, Sean enlisted in the Army, serving nearly 10 years as a patriot missile crewman. He endured blinding sandstorms in Iraq and lonely days in South Korea, away from his wife and his sons.
But, looking back, Sean is grateful for those years. “I’m proud of the man serving my country made me. And of the values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage the Army instilled in me,” says Sean. “They are similar to CVS Health values,” he notes, “and I try to pass them onto my kids and community.”
The CVS Health® Pittsburgh Workforce Innovation and Talent Center (WITC) located in the Ebenezer Baptist Church, is one place Sean puts those ethics into practice. As associate manager, Sean has been the heart of this groundbreaking program which seeks to give people the job skills, experience and support they need to escape cycles of poverty. Sean coordinates classes in fields such as retail, pharmacy, audio/visual production, and culinary arts. Already, seven pharmacy technician classes have graduated, providing meaningful careers as well as a pipeline of talent for CVS Health.
While participants transition into new positions, the Church provides wrap-around services like food, medical, and child support for three full years. “Our job is to create the best candidates possible,” says Sean. “We can’t do that if they’re struggling with conditions of poverty while they are trying to escape it.”
To date, the WITC has served over 11,000 people. This success wasn’t guaranteed though. “When we first opened July 2021,” says senior manager John White, “people were apprehensive: ‘Why is this big company coming into our neighborhood?’ they asked.”
Sean, through his sincerity and compassion, has earned their trust. “He’s amazing,” says John. “He’ll strike up a conversation with a person on the street and next thing I know, they’re inside with a plate of hot food learning about career options. He knows how to turn lives around.”