In 2002 Walgreens launched a plan to open two distribution centers: one in Connecticut and one in South Carolina. They also announced both would be staffed by a large number of people with disabilities. For example, one of the managers of the South Carolina center has cerebral palsy and struggled to find work anywhere after college. The original plan was to have one third of the centers staffed by employees with a disability but now 40 percent of the South Carolina center and 50 percent of the Connecticut center employees have a disability. According to the senior vice president of Supple Chain and Logistics, the centers that employ people with disabilities are the most cost effective in the entire company, and Walgreens plans to implement the same program in 8,300 stores across the country.
In order to ensure that diversity is a focus in every Walgreens store, the company has appointed a chief diversity officer, Steve Pemberton. Steve Pemberton is responsible for "ensuring that Walgreens demonstrates cultural and workforce diversity, and will take the lead on directing activities to help serve diverse markets and populations, including customers in medically underserved areas, food deserts and urban areas" (Johnsen).
Walgreens announced in 2009 that they would donate $10,000 a year to each of the country's 111 accredited pharmacy colleges to help increase the diversity among students. In doing this, Walgreens has ensured not only that there will be a more diverse workforce in pharmacies, but also that their own pharmacies will be staffed by a more diverse group.
Optional Further Reading
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Answer the following questions and show references.
Question #1
Imagine you are part of the human resource management team responsible for recruiting, training, and overseeing one of the Walgreens stores described in the case study. Predict three (3) challenges that you might face when managing the integration of a workforce made up of 40-50 percent disabled individuals. Propose the steps that you would take to address each of these challenges.
Questions #1B
From the e-Activity, briefly describe the business you researched. Apply the measures that Walgreens has taken to ensure a diverse workforce to this business. Determine whether or not the practices employed by Walgreens would be successful if enacted at the other business. Provide a rationale for your response.