Reference no: EM131435720
Assignment Choice 1: Emerging Trends: Walgreeens Leads the Way in Employing Workers with Disabilities
In 2008, Walgreens, one of the nation’s largest drugstore retailers, opened a state-of-the-art distribution center in Windsor, Connecticut. It is the company’s second facility designed specifically to employ people with disabilities and patterned after a similar one that opened in 2007 in South Carolina. Managers at both facilities share a goal of having people with disabilities fill at least one-third of the available jobs. Walgreens has developed a reputation as a company that offers meaningful jobs to people with diverse backgrounds with equal opportunities for advancement and job mobility. Company leaders intend to open more distribution centers that employ disabled workers and plan to use the experience in the facilities in Connecticut and South Carolina to provide managers in other units with information that will result in the hiring of more people with disabilities. The South Carolina distribution center has a workforce of 400, with 40 percent having a disclosed physical or cognitive disability. Yet the facility’s efficiency increased by 20 percent since it’s opening, after technology and process changes originally intended to accommodate workers with disabilities improved everyone’s jobs. The experience of creating a disability-friendly environment in its distribution centers has been a transforming event for the company, according to one of Walgreen’s corporate executives of human resources. Many employers do not share or practice Walgreens’ level of long-term commitment and investment in hiring people with disabilities, but demographic trends suggest that more companies should, and will ultimately have to, as growth of the traditional labor pool slows, the workforce ages, and disability rates increase. As more business executives recognize and support the hiring and development of workers with disabilities, a chronically underemployed group, the business benefits of tapping this talent pool becomes clear.
What are the tangible and intangible benefits that Walgreens receives by being a leader in hiring employers with disabilities?
Only about half of the people with disabilities who want to work are employed. What barriers do people with disabilities face in obtaining employment that are not concerns of other groups protected by the EEOC, such as minorities, women or the aged?