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Connecting veterans with civilian jobs

July 25, 2017 | Diversity Equity Inclusion

Kally Wilson, CVS Health’s coordinator for the Talent Connect Center, speaks with a service member at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
The CVS Health Talent Connect Center at Fort Bragg connects veterans with opportunities.
One wall of the Talent Connect Center bears the images of service members who are now employed with CVS Health.
A view inside the CVS Health Talent Connect Center.
Visitors to the CVS Health Talent Connect Center will view an explanation of the center’s purpose, along with open positions.
The Career Resource Center at Ft. Bragg includes the CVS Health Talent Connect Center.
The CVS Health Talent Connect Center is housed in the Career Resource Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

In the United States, two-thirds of companies report having positions for which they cannot find qualified applicants, with unfilled jobs costing the U.S. economy $160 billion each year. This challenge is particularly acute in health care. It is projected that by 2020, 5.6 million new health care jobs will be created, which may lead to a sizeable shortage in pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

In response to the growing demand for a pipeline of skilled workers, CVS Health has launched the Talent Connect Center (TCC), part of the newly dedicated Fort Bragg Career Resource Center which, in partnership with Columbia Southern Education Group, serves as an employment skills-focused facility and connects service members who are transitioning off active duty with companies who can provide training and employment.

The TCC combines state-of-the-art virtual reality technology with hands-on support to help veterans and their spouses explore CVS Health opportunities, through providing resume assistance and simulated interviewing practice to speaking with leaders of various departments to learn about the many career options within the company. CVS Health will be one of approximately 20 companies with training centers within the Career Resource Center.

“The Talent Connect Center is designed to expertly walk veterans through the expanded opportunities at CVS Health, which extend past retail and into distribution, IT and nursing, providing a gateway into high-demand, good paying fields,” said Lisa Bisaccia, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer, CVS Health.

Equipped with video conferencing technology to serve and reach military and CVS Health personnel beyond Fort Bragg, the TCC will offer training in the Army Career Skills Program (ACSP) for management, retail and logistics. The ACSP allows active duty soldiers within 180 days from separation from the military to train in an interested career field.

A history of hiring veterans

CVS Health has established a long history of recruiting, hiring, training and retaining veterans to build a pipeline of workforce talent. Since 2015, we have hired almost 8,000 people with military experience and more than 2,300 military spouses.

Leo Trimble, who served in the U.S. Army for 21 years as a Signal Support Technician, said CVS Health took steps to ease his transition when he applied for a job at the end of his service.

“When I first made the decision to leave the military, I was all over the place on what to do next,” said Trimble, now a Field Support Technician for CVS Health. “I was drawn to CVS Health because they helped me to identify IT opportunities that allowed me to continue to do what I love. I wouldn’t change where I am today for anything.”

On average, enlisted service members have been leaving the U.S. military at a rate of roughly 200,000 each year, and the U.S. Department of Defense estimates the rate will remain high through 2019.

“As a new generation of service men and women come home, we owe them every opportunity to live the American Dream that they helped to defend,” said David Casey, VP, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer, CVS Health, and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “The Talent Connect Center is dedicated to helping to make the transition process easier for veterans through in-person and virtual skill-building, training and mentoring, and to create an environment that values diversity, leadership and working collaboratively.”