CVS to hire 200-plus for its Sacramento CA COVID-19 effort

CVS Health is looking to hire more than 220 new employees — pharmacists, pharmacy technicians,

CVS Health is looking to hire more than 220 new employees — pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses and more — in the Sacramento region as it prepares to join the effort to immunize the most vulnerable U.S. citizens against COVID-19.

“If you think about what these individuals will be doing … the thing they can say is that this is part of their legacy,” said Jeff Lackey, CVS Health vice president of talent acquisition. “They can tell their grandchildren they were actually part of the fight against the pandemic. As bad as this has been for all of us as a nation and as a world, we can all say we were part of the solution.”

The pharmacy giant has been on a hiring spree for months, Lackey said, as company leaders try to fulfill their mission of being a source of not only pharmaceutical treatments and medical supplies, but also health care at their MinuteClinics and in the homes of patients who get home infusions from CVS staff.

“We needed to make sure that we were able to help all those people,” Lackey said. “That’s when we announced the 15,000 (person) hiring initiative to help reinforce all the folks on the front line and to make sure our … pharmacies stayed open and that our community-based health was there for our patients.”

The company continued that mission as it geared up first to provide flu shots to the masses and now to give COVID-19 vaccinations to people in long-term care and skilled nursing facilities around the nation.

“We were able to administer over 20 million flu shots, which is more than double what we normally would do in a given year,” Lackey said. “Now we fast-forward to today and what we’re facing is the vaccinations (for COVID-19). It’s very exciting that we have these long-term care facilities and skilled nursing facilities which will be the first to get the vaccinations.”

Many of the new jobs will be temporary, but have the possibility for full-time employment. Lots of people have lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lackey said, and these jobs may be just what some people will need as a bridge until the labor market recovers.

He noted that CVS is also doing COVID-19 testing for many employers who want to reduce risk of transmission of the new coronavirus, the pathogen that causes COVID-19.

If workers don’t have the training to be a pharmacy technician, Lackey said, CVS will provide that and get them certified in providing vaccinations if they are needed in that role.

“Once they’re trained and licensed appropriately,” he said, “they’ll be under the supervision of a pharmacist. In the meantime, while they’re not immunization-ready, those pharmacist techs will be helping out with the many things that have to happen in terms of coordination and preparation to make sure that this procedure goes smoothly.”

The key to getting hired, Lackey said, is showing a commitment to the CVS purpose: “We help people on a path to better health. You need to reflect our values. If you can do that, we’re interested.”

If you’re interested in applying, go to cvs.jobs/2020, Lackey said, adding that his team is filling positions as fast as they can. In the case of nurses, Lackey said they’re looking for not only registered nurses, but also licensed vocational nurses and licensed practical nurses.

“Once you get in (the site), you will have a small virtual job tryout, which is a very simple process you’ll go through that helps you learn a little bit more about the job,” he said. “It also assesses your fit for the job. I think that’s going to be very useful for folks because it’s a good way to help them understand a little bit more about what they’re about to do.”

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Cathie Anderson covers health care for The Bee. Growing up, her blue-collar parents paid out of pocket for care. She joined The Bee in 2002, with roles including business columnist and features editor. She previously worked at papers including the Dallas Morning News, Detroit News and Austin American-Statesman.

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