Walgreens partnered with Challenge Enterprises for a six-week OJT (on-the-job training) opportunity. Walgreens has a program called REDI (Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative), and they welcomed four of Challenge Enterprises’ Supportive Employment participants with open arms. Externs for this program were selected based on their willingness to learn, abilities and interests. Selected externs were given instruction and hands-on retail skills training in product facing and fronting, receiving and stocking new inventory, recognizing when and how to re-stock current inventory and removing expired inventory from shelves. They also had the opportunity to learn processes in the photo lab and in a cashier role. There was additional instruction on mylars, bar codes, and the importance of attention to detail, customer service and the impact appearance has on a retail store. All valuable assets as they continue to develop their career skills sets on the pathway to independent employment.
Upon completion of the program, the externs were given a progress report. Those who demonstrated skills that are needed in a retail environment were awarded a certificate recommending them as good candidates for hire at Walgreens. This information is shared with other Walgreens stores, which increases awareness and opportunities for individuals with disabilities.