LRCS Empowers Individuals through Participation in Walgreens REDI Program

From front to back on the left: April McDaniels, Ashley Holmes, and Samantha Ely on their first day at Walgreens in Laconia with their LRCS Job Coach, Tessa Bartlett (back right), and Walgreens Store Manager, Kaitlin Plant (front right).

Lakes Region Community Services (LRCS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals with developmental disabilities and acquired brain disorders, is proud to announce its participation in the Walgreens Retail Employees with Disabilities Program (REDI). LRCS is committed to enhancing the lives of those it serves, and this partnership exemplifies its dedication to fostering inclusivity and providing meaningful employment opportunities.

As part of its mission to promote independence, dignity, and opportunity, LRCS is excited to have three individuals—Ashley, April, and Samantha—embark on a transformative journey with the Walgreens REDI Program.

The Walgreens REDI Program is designed to equip individuals with disabilities with the essential skills required for retail jobs, enabling them to lead fulfilling and self-reliant lives. By collaborating with community organizations, vocational rehabilitation agencies, and local social services, Walgreens identifies and screens candidates for the REDI program, ensuring that participants receive comprehensive training that sets them up for success.

During the 3-week in-store training program, Walgreens store managers guide REDI externs, supported by an LRCS job coach, through the intricacies of retail and customer service. The comprehensive curriculum covers duties essential for a Customer Service Associate role, including tasks like unloading trucks, stocking shelves, and operating cash registers.

Upon completing the REDI program, participants have the opportunity to apply for positions at Walgreens, equipped with the skills and confidence gained during their training.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Walgreens on the REDI program,” says Wendy Robb, Director of StaffWorks at LRCS. “This initiative exemplifies our unwavering commitment to promoting independence and creating life-changing opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Through the REDI program, we are not only providing essential job skills but also empowering our individuals to embrace their abilities and realize their potential. We firmly believe that every individual deserves the dignity and economic freedom that comes with gainful employment, and this collaboration with Walgreens helps us achieve that vision.”

Since its inception in 2012, the REDI program has empowered over 1,300 individuals with disabilities across the nation, offering them a chance to acquire new skills and build confident, fulfilling lives. LRCS’s involvement in the program further underscores its commitment to enabling the members of its community to overcome barriers and achieve their aspirations.