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CVS Health, RWU Continue Professional Development Program to Support Diverse Suppliers

Training program created by RWU’s Center for Workforce & Professional Development helps CVS Health diverse-owned suppliers develop skills in finance, leadership, technology
Local business owners celebrate completing the second annual Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers, held by the Center for Workforce & Professional Development at the School of Continuing Studies

PROVIDENCE, R.I. ­­– As part of its commitment to developing diverse business leaders, CVS Health has partnered with the Center for Workforce & Professional Development at Roger Williams University's School of Continuing Studies to launch the third annual Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers, a customized professional development program for small and diverse business owners. The program will help diverse vendors gain critical management skills that allow them to expand their partnerships with CVS Health and drive their companies’ success in areas such as marketing, finance and human resources.

“At CVS Health, we know the critical role diverse suppliers have in the continued success of our company as we seek to solve cost, quality and access issues in the evolving healthcare landscape,” said Raul Suarez‐Rodriguez, CVS Health’s manager of supplier diversity. “The Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers allows us to deepen our partnerships with small business owners and invest in their development by creating training programs that expand their capacity, skill level and growth potential.”

The Executive Learning Series is a cornerstone program in CVS Health’s ongoing focus on supplier diversity, a commitment recently recognized by Billion Dollar Roundtable for reaching its goal of spending over $1 billion with diverse suppliers. 

The new training series grew out of the successful pilot program, the CEO Master Series, which helped a group of diverse business owners gain skills and knowledge with customized courses – on purchasing and contracts, team building, sustainability training, performance management and social media marketing. Created by the Center for Workforce & Professional Development at RWU's School of Continuing Studies and CVS Health, the CEO Master Series enhanced participating firms’ résumés and better positioned them to win contracts with large companies.

“We have been a proud partner and training provider to CVS Health and their supplier diversity team for three years,” said Adriana I. Dawson, the RWU School of Continuing Studies assistant dean for the Center for Workforce & Professional Development. “There’s no doubt they get it. They understand the value and business imperative of strengthening and supporting diverse suppliers. We commend CVS Health for their continued commitment and encourage all eligible suppliers to consider applying for this national capacity building opportunity.” 

Fifteen partners will be selected for the Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers program and will focus on building skills in areas such as finance and budget, leadership, management, technology, human resources and communications through a blend of in-class and online learning.

The series delivers:

  •  An intensive curriculum designed to expand capacity, skill level and growth potential in critical areas.
  •  Practical experience, including an opportunity to respond to a sample Request for Proposal.
  •  Support for introductions and relationship building with CVS Health procurement professionals.
  •  The opportunity to join peers in a mutually supportive and lasting network.

“We work with our corporate partners to create a customized learning experience that meet their specific industry needs or organizational goals today and the future,” said Jamie E. Scurry, dean of RWU’s School of Continuing Studies. “The distinctive programming created by the Center for Workforce and Professional Development exemplifies our mission of meeting the needs of industry, families, communities and the state. We are dedicated to working collaboratively to ensure current and prospective employees are exceptionally prepared for career advancement and emerging career pathways.”

The Center for Workforce and Professional Development at Roger Williams University's School of Continuing Studies and CVS Health developed the curriculum with help from several national diversity chambers and councils, including the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council and Regional Partner Organizations, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Minority Supplier Development Council and it Regional Affiliates, U.S. Business Leadership Network (DSDP), U.S. Hispanic and the U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce.

Applications will be accepted for the training program through May 22. For more information on the program and to apply, visit https://scs.rwu.edu/partnerships/partners/cvs-health/executive-learning-series/diverse-suppliers-application/1.