The JEVS EduConnect team in the CVS mock pharmacy that recently opened at JEVS’s education center, Orleans Technical College. (L to R) Director of EduConnect, Jessica Baer; Community Engagement Manager, Cheryl Liedman; Success Coach, Shadeed Sabir; and Lead Success Coach, Karen Clarke.
In 2021, JEVS EduConnect met the rising demand for pharmacy workers by launching a pharmacy technician training program. Through hybrid instruction (both in-person and remote), 165 hours of training, hands-on practice in a mock pharmacy located on-site at JEVS, and prep for the industry certification exam, the program prepares students to become Certified Pharmacy Technicians.
Supported by the guidance and motivation by JEVS success coaches program, the first cohorts of the pharmacy technician training have completed the program and have moved on to secure pharmacy jobs with CVS Health, or to continue their health care training in medical billing & coding, another certificate program that EduConnect provides.
For clients in the JEVS Work Ready program—who are on public assistance and securing work opportunities that lead to greater independence and self-sufficiency—participating in the educational opportunities that EduConnect provides is another step on the JEVS service continuum.
EduConnect Director Jessica Baer says of the program participants, “Students from JEVS Work Ready have been some of our most successful adult learners —many are eager to jump into training and are accepting of feedback or help from our success coaches.”
Serving more than 25,000 program participants each year—representing populations such as low-income adults, veterans, returning citizens and individuals with disabilities—JEVS Human Services supports a diverse pool of candidates for pharmacy technician careers that constantly need filling.
With JEVS EduConnect as the bridge, participants are supported from training to technician. Director Baer goes on to explain, “Whether it’s a reminder about coursework, a motivational nudge to keep going, or a resource about upcoming job opportunities, we are excited to be able to provide well-rounded supportive services that will hopefully serve them as they move forward in their careers.”
At age 34, South Philadelphia resident, Tammy, had an interest in the health care field and thought about going back to school. In her own words she explains, “For a while I have been wanting to go back to school or some sort of training and I thought it was too late for me. I heard about the pharmacy tech training program and felt like it would be perfect for me.”
Tammy looks back on her training as an amazing experience. “I absolutely loved that my teacher, Ms. Sherrell, was so passionate about her field and teaching others the tools we need to succeed. And the JEVS team for being there whenever we needed them and rooting for us daily.”
Thanks to the support of JEVS EduConnect, for Tammy, the transition from training to technician was an easy one. At the end of the pharmacy technician training program, Tammy received and accepted a job offer for a seamless start to a new career as a Pharmacy Technician for CVS.
“The most rewarding part for me was my children saying they are proud of me and showing them that no matter the circumstances you may be in at the moment, if you put your all into things you want to accomplish, the sky is the limit!”
“We are truly executing the philosophy that education is the needle that moves people into higher quality circumstances and a lifetime of opportunities,” says Baer.