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Walgreens named ‘Private-Sector Employer of the Year’ by Careers & the Disabled magazine

BY Allison Cerra

DEERFIELD, Ill. One of the nation’s largest drug store chains has received recognition as a “Private-Sector Employer of the Year” from a career-guidance and recruitment magazine for people with disabilities who are at the undergraduate, graduate or professional level.

Careers & the Disabled magazine said that Walgreens would be honored by its publication in May for its commitment to recruiting, hiring and promoting people with disabilities and its progressive hiring practices.

“At every level, we do all we can to emphasize people’s abilities and strengths,” said Walgreens SVP supply chain and logistics Randy Lewis, who leads of the company’s disability employment initiative at its distribution centers. “We’ve been able to successfully make a meaningful impact on the lives of all who touch this initiative from team members and parents to managers and executives. We’ve done this while meeting our business objectives and doing what’s right for the company.”

Walgreens formalized its plan to make bigger strides in the employment of people with disabilities in 2007, with the opening of distribution centers that would feature employees with disabilities. One distribution center in Anderson, S.C., currently boasts 43% of people with disabilities in the facility’s workforce. Due to the successes in Anderson, Lewis created a company goal to fill 10% of its production jobs at all DCs with people who have disabilities by the end of 2010. Last month, Walgreens launched a pilot program aimed at hiring people with disabilities for 10% of service clerk openings at its Dallas/Fort Worth area stores. Training for the pilot, developed in conjunction with the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, will prepare candidates for Walgreens staff positions, other jobs in retail or customer service positions that require similar skills. The company also plans to work with DARS to help candidates with job placement.

“This is the 18th year in which Careers & the Disabled magazine has honored employers who have made a difference in the lives of people with disabilities,” said publisher John Miller. “We are pleased to name Walgreens for its commitment to recruit, hire and promote people with disabilities.”

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FMI praises Brown’s Super Markets president’s commitment to consumers

BY Allison Cerra

ARLINGTON, Va. An organization representing food retailers and wholesalers praised one grocery chain head’s commitment to improving the availability of nutritious food for its consumers.

The Food Marketing Institute that testimony presented before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Department Operations, Oversight, Nutrition, and Forestry by Jeff Brown, president and owner of Brown’s Super Markets, shows how partnerships with federal and community leaders “can overcome the challenges inherent in building stores in underserved areas.”

“Food Marketing Institute applauds Jeff Brown for sharing his vision and success in bringing fresh, affordable and nutritious food to low-income Americans in areas that lack ready access to supermarkets, said Leslie Sarasin, FMI president and CEO. “Retail food stores are the cornerstone of communities nationwide, creating numerous jobs and serving as catalyst for economic growth.”

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Pfizer Oncology to present cancer drugs at annual cancer research conference

BY Alaric DeArment

NEW YORK Presenters from Pfizer’s cancer drugs unit will have a lot of work to do at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Washington this weekend.

Pfizer Oncology announced Wednesday that the company would present data on investigational cancer drugs such as figitumumab, a monoclonal antibody for lung cancer, as well as Sutent (sunitinib) and the kidney cancer drug axitinib, as well as drugs for lymphoma and others.

“Pfizer’s data at AACR demonstrate our strategic focus on the discovery and development of novel mechanisms that align complex biology with creative clinical strategies,” Pfizer Oncology Research Unit chief scientific officer Neil Gibson said. “Our research on the mutations and pathways that are genetic drivers of the segments of disease, defined by specific ‘genetic signatures,’ is designed to help us identify patient populations that will derive the most benefit from the novel therapeutic modalities we discover and develop.”

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