Walgreens 15th Distribution Center Opens in Connecticut and Creates Jobs for People with Disabilities

Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:00am EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Innovative and inclusive facility where more than 30 percent of workforce has a
disability
DEERFIELD, Ill.--(Business Wire)--
Walgreens (NYSE:WAG)(NASDAQ:WAG) today opened its newest distribution center in
Windsor, Conn., where 30 percent of the workforce is made up of people with
disabilities. 

Employees with disabilities have been trained to work side-by-side with other
team members - with the same productivity goals, earning the same pay.
Disabilities range from autism and retardation to hearing and physical
impairments. An on-site training facility helps those with special needs become
prepared for employment so everyone can work productively and effectively. 

"We`ve worked technology and creativity into every inch of this place, but the
people here will amaze you," said Walgreens senior vice president of supply
chain and logistics Randy Lewis. "We originally went into this project wanting
to change the work environment but soon discovered we were the ones who changed
in dramatic and wonderful ways." 

In February, the Department of Labor`s first ever report on unemployment among
disabled job seekers revealed rates nearly double that of the typically-able
population. At a time when many question job stability and worry about layoffs,
Walgreens has brought nearly 300 new jobs to Connecticut. 

"We are dedicated to building a strong economic future, and the common
denominator is - and must always be - creating and maintaining a diversified
workforce," Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell. "I am tremendously proud of this
successful partnership, which combined the hard work of so many state agencies,
community non-profits and private business. The jobs created from this endeavor
are the successful result of everyone striving for the same goal." 

This massive, 700,000 square foot facility not only can fit 12 football fields
inside its walls, but will serve hundreds of Walgreens stores throughout the
Northeast. The center is expected to be 20 percent more efficient than the
company`s previous generation of DCs and has some of the most innovative
logistics systems in the distribution industry. 

The Windsor, Conn. location and facility in Anderson, S.C., which opened in
2007, are now the models for every future Walgreens DC. It`s the company`s goal
to fill 10 percent of its distribution center production jobs with people with
disabilities. Walgreens is more than halfway there. 

"For many, this is their first full-time job," said Lewis. "For a parent to
finally see their son or daughter experience what it`s like to hold a job, be
responsible and actually look forward, can fulfill a lifelong dream." 

Featured speakers at the distribution center grand opening will be Walgreens
President and CEO Greg Wasson and Connecticut Gov. M. Jodi Rell. Guided tours of
the facility will follow. 

Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is the nation's largest drugstore chain with
fiscal 2008 sales of $59 billion. The company operates 6,736 drugstores in 49
states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Walgreens provides the most
convenient access to consumer goods and services and cost-effective pharmacy,
health and wellness services in America through its retail drugstores, Walgreens
Health Services division and Walgreens Health and Wellness division. Walgreens
Health Services assists pharmacy patients and prescription drug and medical
plans through Walgreens Health Initiatives Inc. (a pharmacy benefit manager),
Walgreens Mail Service Inc., Walgreens Home Care Inc., Walgreens Specialty
Pharmacy LLC and SeniorMed LLC (a pharmacy provider to long-term care
facilities). Walgreens Health and Wellness division includes Take Care Health
Systems, the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and
wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700
locations throughout the country. 





Walgreens
Robert Elfinger
(847) 914-2962
http://news.walgreens.com

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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