Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU) cultivates successful, reciprocal relationships with employers to deliver the most comprehensive, customized career and pre-career coaching opportunities to individuals with barriers to employment. At the onset of 2023, WOU intensified its commitment to working with Corporate Partners, putting a strong emphasis on exploring more opportunities for clients within Walgreens.
Walgreens’ in-store training program, Retail Employees with Disabilities Initiative (REDI), aims to help people with disabilities gain retail and customer service skills through externships. The company also offers paid training through its Transitional Work Group (TWG) program. Walgreens provides crucial training and job coaching to individuals, while WOU helps monitor and evaluate the individuals’ progress throughout the program. WOU’s partnership with Walgreens has enabled more clients to participate in the REDI and TWG programs and has led to more direct-hire placements for those clients who are already equipped with the necessary skills and ready to join the workforce.
Since collaborating with Walgreens throughout 2023, as of the end of November, 96 WOU clients have been placed at the employer (35 in paid positions and 61 in REDI externships). In addition, many participants in the REDI program are offered paid positions after successfully completing a session. The individuals were placed in a variety of positions, including Pharmacy Technicians, Customer Service Associates, Team Leaders, Micro-Fulfillment Specialists, and General Warehouse Workers. The training programs and job placements at Walgreens have empowered these individuals to achieve personal and career goals, positively impacting their lives.
Amanda Tosoni, WOU’s Corporate Partnership Coordinator, states, “I am grateful for our collaboration with Walgreens! They’re not just a business partner, but a team dedicated to creating opportunities, and I love how they’re helping more people with disabilities find meaningful employment. Working with Julie Oakley and Lauren Spradley is an absolute pleasure. Their dedication, combined with the fantastic support from the Store Managers and Associates, has made the collaboration a great success for many WOU clients.”
Julie Oakley, Area Field Disability Specialist – East for Walgreens, shares, “We appreciate the time Work Opportunities Unlimited Career Resource Specialists take to ensure success for their candidates, both in how they prepare their participants and in how they interact with our Store Managers. We are thankful for the talent brought to Walgreens and look forward to a continued strong partnership!”
WOU is excited for what’s ahead as they continue working together with Walgreens.
With operations throughout the eastern United States, Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU), a community-based employment service provider, has been helping people with barriers to employment find meaningful jobs since 1982. The company serves thousands of adults and students annually. For more information, please visit www.workopportunities.net.