Uploaded on Aug 15, 2011
Walgreens is a $60B retailer with 7,500 stores across the US and 200,000 employees. In the enclosed videos are stories that appeared on our national TV news about something wonderful -for our shareholders, for our communities, and for each of us who has participated in it. It's a story about a Walgreens distribution center in South Carolina. . But for us who have been part of it, it is much more than that. It's a reminder to all of us that we can difference. We started out wanting to change the work environment and in the end have found that we were the ones who have been changed.
We started with the simple belief that given the right environment people with disabilities who might not have ever had the opportunity could perform as well as anyone else. We designed a new distribution center with an " inclusive" workforce: people with and without disabilities working side-by-side, doing the same jobs, held to the same performance standards and earning the same pay.
Since then we have opened two such centers, one in Anderson, South Carolina and in Hartford, Connecticut. They have exceeded our wildest dreams - about 40 percent of the workforce have a disability, the centers are our most productive and our employee turnover and accident rates are better or the same as our other distribution centers.
We also discovered that we underestimated those with disabilities. We learned that they could do much more than we ever expected and that we did not need all the technology shown in these videos to employ people with disabilities successfully. Most importantly, we found the experience to be the most rewarding work of our lives. It has made us better managers, best citizens, better parents, and better people.
We have since expanded this across ALL our 18 centers across the US. We hope to have people with disabilities compose 10 percent of our 10,000 person workforce in our distribution centers. We've reached 800 of our 1,000 goal. Our experience has changed us forever and I am convinced we'll exceed our current goal and will set a higher one.
I hope the videos move and excite you. More importantly, I hope they stir your spirit to take the next step.
Senior Vice President - Supply Chain & Logistics