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
The Transportation and Logistics Flagship Program at
of North Florida
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,
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
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.