Drugstore Giant Empowers Its Employees

National drugstore chain CVS Health gives low-income workers a leg up on the career ladder – and fills a pressing need – through an innovative apprenticeship program. The program, now in its 14th year, prepares low-income job seekers for careers as pharmacy technicians. Workers learn while they earn, and their initial jobs often lead to management positions in the company’s nearly 10,000 retail stores. In 2017, CVS employed 4,600 apprenticeship-trained pharmacy techs and managers in 12 states.


Grocery Chain Puts Young Workers on the Path to Success

At Wegmans, an upscale grocery chain in upstate New York, shoppers are used to being pampered. What customers may not realize is that Wegmans sees its workers as special, too – particularly those who come up through its Work-Scholarship Connection program. The program – now more than a decade old – fosters academic achievement and promotes career success among students in underfunded urban schools.


Cigna’s Focus on ROI Pays Huge Human Dividends

Cigna Corp., the global health benefits firm, is justifiably proud of its tuition-reimbursement program. The program is markedly generous to Cigna workers, providing an annual tuition subsidy of as much as $10,000 to undergraduates and $12,000 to graduate students. But the program aids the company, too – and Cigna has the numbers to prove it. Research shows that it generates a handsome financial return on investment while also boosting employee loyalty.


We’ve heard it for years from the nation’s employers—in CEOs’ speeches and op-ed pieces, in companies’ annual reports, even in advertisements: “At XYZ Corp., our single greatest asset is our people.” Far too often, of course, such words are merely that: words … high-sounding slogans uttered only to burnish a company’s brand. Fortunately, a growing […]

Steve Giegerich

The stories in this issue of Focus were reported and written by Steve Giegerich. Giegerich is a journalist with decades of experience, including stints as a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and as an education writer for the Associated Press. He has also taught journalism at Columbia University and is now a freelance writer based in New York City.

Editing | David S. Powell
Editorial assistance | Ruth Holladay
Photography | Shawn Spence Photography
Design & development | IronGate Creative
Multimedia production | Matthew Jenkins

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