Ten students graduate from JVS program to begin careers in pharmacy

Photo Courtesy of Michael Andreas

NEWARK, NJ — On Friday, July 29, 10 students graduated from a pharmacy technician training program, taking the first step on a new career path. This training is a joint venture between Jewish Vocational Service of Metrowest and CVS Health. During an intense 10-week training program taught by instructor Genevieve-Marie Louis, students were introduced to retail and clinical pharmacy. The program was capped off by an externship at local CVS Pharmacy locations.

“This program gives them a foundation, the knowledge they need to work in a pharmacy setting,” said Louis, who has taught for more than a decade in colleges and universities. “The externship gave them hands-on experience in a retail setting.”

Many students who graduated have already received job offers from CVS Pharmacy locations. Monica Guevas, the class valedictorian, was introduced to JVS in 2018 through its English-as-a-second-language classes. When the pharmacy tech training program opened, she applied. Although she was a nutritionist in Ecuador, the cost of licensing in America was prohibitive. This program gives her the chance to enter a new area of health care in her new country. Other students are interested in pursuing careers in retail settings and hospitals. One graduate is considering returning to school to become a pharmacist.

This is the first class to graduate from the program collaboration between JVS and CVS Health. It is part of JVS’ new Center for Economic Opportunity, an initiative that works with employers to fill employment gaps through training and placement. To date, the center has also completed training programs for certified apartment maintenance technicians and certified production technicians.

At the graduation, JVS of Metrowest CEO Michael Andreas said, “The Center for Economic Opportunity has two value propositions. First, it recognizes that people may not have equal access to the job market. Second, employers are involved in the process from the start. Many training programs fail because employers are brought in at the end of the training.”

JVS of MetroWest strives to put people to work who face barriers to employment based on ability, age, the effects of systemic racism and immigrant status. In addition to its training programs, it offers services and placement for people with disabilities, ESL classes, adult basic education classes, citizenship classes, online jobseeker workshops, career counseling and refugee services. For more information about JVS of MetroWest, visit www.jvsnj.org.