CCRI announces CVS partnership to strengthen pharma pipeline

COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF RHODE ISLAND and CVS Health Corp., together with the R.I. Dept. of Labor and Training and Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, jointly announced a new pharmaceutical technician training program. The program, which launched late last month is designed to strengthen the pipeline from local schools to the industry.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF RHODE ISLAND and CVS Health Corp., together with the R.I. Dept. of Labor and Training and Skills for Rhode Island’s Future, jointly announced a new pharmaceutical technician training program. The program, which launched late last month is designed to strengthen the pipeline from local schools to the industry.

PROVIDENCE – Students interested in the pharmaceutical industry have a new way to approach the industry’s workforce pipeline.

A multi-way partnership between the Community of College of Rhode Island, CVS Health Corp., the R.I. Dept. of Labor and Training and Skills for Rhode Island’s Future was announced by the Warwick-based community college Thursday. It will see students offered the opportunity to train as a pharmaceutical technician in a specialized program.

Launched Sept. 24, the Pharmacy Technician II initiative will see students attend 20 hours of classes per week for 3 months. The curriculum includes introductions to drugs, basic physiology, drug interactions and daily pharmacy operations.

“As the skills gap in the U.S. widens, CVS Health recognizes the important role externships, which offer on-the-job training with classroom instruction, play in building a pipeline of future skilled talent,” said David Casey, vice president of workforce strategies and chief diversity officer at CVS, said in a statement.

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In order to learn from and experience the rigors of a pharmacy, students will take part in an externship as part of their training.

Per a statement from the community college: “There is no guarantee of employment at CVS, but graduates of the program are given preferred consideration for employment [therein] and will have an opportunity to interview with the company.”

Funded by a $250,000 R.I. DLT Real Jobs Rhode Island grant, accommodating up to 75 students, the partnership represents the first initiative born out of CCRI’s Division of Workforce Partnerships.

Preparation for the national Pharmacy Technician Certification Board exam is also an element of the initiative.

Recruitment and placement management have been undertaken by Skills for Rhode Island staff.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email, gowdey-backus@pbn.com.