Randy Lewis, Senior VP of Logistics and distribution for Walgreens, is behind the huge company’s efforts to employ individuals with disabilities. As the nation’s largest drug store chain, Walgreens is setting a great example for other large corporations to follow. As the parent of a 23 year old son with Autism, he knows what it’s like to worry for our children’s futures. In his own words, “why is it so important to work to create jobs for adults with disabilities? We’re always talking about children with special needs, but people are adults for a lot longer than they are children.”
Recently, Walgreens announced plans to expand their disability employment programming in stores in 13 states. This news comes on the heels of a report from the US Dept of Labor listing the unemployment rate for people with disabilities at 12.5% (general population rate is around 8%). Of course, this number only reflects people actively looking for employment, and does not include the many individuals who don’t even consider the possibility of employment practical given the lack of opportunities. Imagine what an example Walgreens can be to change that! Within their 20 distribution centers, 10% of their workforce is currently made up of individuals with disabilities.
Are there any businesses in your area actively employing individuals with disabilities? In our own hometown of Metro Detroit, Big Tent Jobs is a leading recruiter, offering “technical career opportunities for degreed professionals with hidden and visible disabilities.” It’s a testament to the times we’re living in and the need to find meaningful employment for all individuals that there are organizations committed this cause.
For more information on Walgreens’ initiative to employ individuals with disabilities, please visit their webpage at http://www.walgreens.com/topic/sr/disability_inclusion_home.jsp