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CVS Health and Roger Williams University to offer professional development program to support diverse suppliers

May 15, 2018 | Diversity Equity Inclusion

Training program created by Center for Workforce and Professional Development at RWU School of Continuing Studies will help CVS Health diverse-owned suppliers develop skills in finance, leadership and technology

As part of its ongoing commitment to support the development of diverse business leaders, CVS Health and the Center for Workforce and Professional Development at Roger Williams University's School of Continuing Studies have opened registration for the CVS Health Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers, a customized professional development program to help diverse business owners grow their companies.

The training program, now in its fourth year, helps diverse vendors gain critical management skills that allow them to expand their business relationships with CVS Health and drive their companies’ success in areas such as marketing, finance and human resources.

Supplier diversity is a strategic business imperative for CVS Health, and the company relies on its suppliers to help solve cost, quality and access issues in the evolving health care landscape.

The Executive Learning Series is a cornerstone program in the company’s ongoing focus on supplier diversity, a commitment recently recognized by Billion Dollar Roundtable, a top-level corporate advocacy organization that promotes supply-chain diversity excellence, for reaching its goal of spending over $1 billion with diverse suppliers.

“At CVS Health, we recognize that working with large corporations can be challenging for small businesses that don’t always have a lot of resources,’ said Raul Suarez-Rodriguez, manager, Supplier Diversity, CVS Health. “RWU has been a valuable partner in developing a training program that is specifically catered to our diverse suppliers, which allows us to deepen our partnerships with these small business owners and invest in their development by creating training opportunities that expand their capacity, skill level and growth potential.”

“Collaborating closely, CVS Health and CWPD identified the gap in professional development for diverse suppliers and built a one-of-kind program that included both the core competencies that CVS Health values and the management skills that can help strengthen each participant’s business as a whole,” said Dawne Pezzuco, director of the Center for Workforce and Professional Development. “With this customization, CVS Health is able to strengthen its relationships with suppliers while also helping these small businesses flourish in their communities.”

“With the Center for Workforce and Professional Development at RWU's School of Continuing Studies, corporate partners can create a customized learning experience that meets their specific industry needs or organizational goals,” said Jamie E. Scurry, dean of the School of Continuing Studies. “The unique programming created by the CWPD truly exemplifies our mission of furthering the education of our students, helping them to reach new career successes, pursue new career paths and remove barriers to upward socio-economic mobility.”

Fifteen diverse suppliers will be selected for the Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers program, which launches on July 20 and will focus on building skills in areas such as finance and budget, leadership, management, technology, human resources and communications. The Series delivers:

  • An intensive curriculum designed to expand capacity, skill level and growth potential in critical areas.
  • Practical experience, including an opportunity to respond to a sample Request for Proposal.
  • Support for introductions and relationship building with CVS Health procurement professionals.
  • The opportunity to join peers in a mutually supportive and lasting network.

The application deadline is June 8.

The Center for Workforce and Professional Development at RWU's School of Continuing Studies and CVS Health developed the curriculum with help from several national diversity chambers and councils, including Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and Regional Partner Organizations, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Minority Supplier Development Council and it Regional Affiliates, National Veterans Business Development Council, Rainbow Push Coalition, U.S. Business Leadership Network and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

The Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers program begins July 20, 2018, and courses will be offered through a blend of in-class and online learning, concluding in October. Visit the Professional Education Center’s website for more information.

This release originally appeared on the Roger Williams University News Archive on May 14, 2018, and is posted here with permission from Roger Williams University.