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Press Release for Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Walgreens VP Discusses Persons with Disabilities Entering the Workforce


Joanna Norris, Assistant Director

Department of Media Relations and Events

(904) 620-2102


The Transportation and Logistics Flagship Program at the University of North Florida presents Randy Lewis, senior vice president of Distribution and Logistics for Walgreens, on Thursday, Oct. 29, from noon to 1:15 p.m. in the Student Union auditorium (Building 58W, Room 2704) on campus. He will discuss “The Initiative to Include Persons with Disabilities in the Workforce: A Win-Win for Walgreens.”


Lewis found a way to make Walgreens’ distribution centers hum with efficiency while making a difference in people’s lives. He brought forth the initiative to hire people with disabilities to fill 30 percent of the production positions at Walgreens.


To make this a reality, Walgreens redesigned its distribution workflow and technology, allowing people with significant disabilities to hold production jobs within their state-of-the-art distribution centers in South Carolina and Connecticut. Walgreens has set a goal of employing 1,000 people with disabilities—approximately 10 percent of the workforce—in its distribution centers by 2010.


Lewis knows about disabilities first hand from his l8-year-old son, Austin, who has autism. “Austin has taught me to look past the obvious to see what’s special about an individual,” said Lewis.


He knows the social benefits of providing jobs for persons with disabilities and understands the economic requirements for companies. “We’re a business, not a charity,” he said “That’s why we try to make the work easier for all distribution center employees with or without special needs. That makes us more efficient and, ultimately, saves money.”


Lewis is responsible for Walgreens’ global supply chain network, including operations, engineering, IT systems and inventory management. In addition to imports, he oversees Walgreens’ domestic network of 15 automated distribution centers and one of the United States’ largest private fleets to supply its 7,000 stores throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.


This event is free and open to the public. A $3 parking pass is required for parking on campus and can be purchased at parking services, located at either the JTB/9A campus entrance or the Kernan Boulevard entrance.


UNF’s Transportation and Logistics Flagship Program offers a unique and rewarding program for students electing to major in transportation and logistics. The program prepares students for challenging careers in supply chain management, international logistics, transportation and physical distribution.


The program has received considerable state, national and international recognition, including being ranked 13th in the nation by Supply Chain Management Review magazine as well as a “Program of Distinction” and a “Center of Excellence” within the state university system.


For more information about this event, contact Lynn Brown at (904) 620-1961.