Impetus for Culture Transformation: Pre-Hire Training for Employees with Disabilities

Impetus for Culture Transformation: Pre-Hire Training for Employees with Disabilities

Everon Chenhall Maxey (Anderson University, USA) and Jeffrey R. Moore (Anderson University, USA)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1808-2.ch006
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Abstract

In this chapter, the authors describe how Walgreens distribution centers are conducting training evaluations to effectively integrate individuals with disabilities through the Transitional Work Group pre-hire training program. In particular, the aim of the pre-hire training program is to hire employees with disabilities to execute core business functions as an integral part of the organization. As other employers seek to become more inclusive in their hiring practices, there is a need to evaluate and identify individuals with disabilities who can demonstrate mastery of required technical tasks and soft skills, such as social skills, teamwork, and conflict resolution, to ensure job readiness. The authors conclude this chapter by assessing the program and providing recommendations to current and future evaluators of training programs.
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Pre-Hire Training Program Description

The Walgreens’s pre-hire training program is referred to as the Transitional Work Group (TWG) training and is divided into three phases. In particular, the aim of the TWG is to hire employees with disabilities to execute core business functions as an integral part of the organization. The first learning objective is for identified individuals with disabilities to demonstrate mastery of required technical tasks and soft skills, such as social skills, teamwork, and conflict resolution, to ensure job readiness. The second learning objective is to achieve productivity and accuracy benchmarks in specified job functions.

Walgreens’s first step in recruiting employees with physical, emotional, and cognitive disabilities is to partner with local and state agencies that serve that constituency. Two excellent sources in South Carolina include the state vocational rehabilitation (VR) department and the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN). These agencies assist the potential job candidate by finding community resources that provide support ranging from transportation to social skills development. These agencies not only provide a referral source for candidates, but also assist employers in developing valuable pre-hire training program content to meet specific operational needs.

Research and case examples have demonstrated that the ultimate success of an inclusive employment emphasis is directly linked to the quality of the pre-hire selection and pre-hire training program, the TWG. Those agencies that provide specialized job coaches, who lead the pre-hire job training, are particularly adept at identifying potential candidates to best meet individual employer needs. Hence, forming an authentic working partnership with each agency is essential. In the example of Walgreens, the VR and DDSN conduct pre-hire training, which is held exclusively at Walgreens’s training centers. Walgreens’s pre-hire training program continues to be refined to best meet candidate and operational requirements.

At Walgreens, the role of the job coach expands to providing pre-hire training and performance coaching support to each candidate as he or she progresses through the pre-hire training program. Walgreens also partners with local schools at the different distribution centers so that students with multiple disabilities have the opportunity to visit the Walgreens training center, receive coaching from managers and agency job coaches, and preview future job possibilities.

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