Company: WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
Innovation: Partnering with Tampa Bay-based Disability Training Center
Award Recognition: Honorable Mention

WellCare Health Plans, Inc. created its HealthConnections Diversity & Inclusion program in 2011, with the goals of strengthening WellCare’s connectivity with its ethnically and culturally diverse communities; improving the representation of ethnicities and cultures among its workforce; and establishing a network of diversity champions within the company and the communities it serves.

WellCare also created a Community Advocacy program in 2011. The program is currently working with the Center for Accessible Living in Kentucky on a community liaison initiative to recruit and hire individuals with disabilities to identify and catalog community-based social service and public assistance programs in the state.

“Our future success depends largely on our ability to build a high-quality workforce that reflects the communities in which we operate,” said Larry Anderson, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for WellCare. “To that end, we look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship with MTC.”

In 2013, WellCare expanded its workforce development initiative to Florida’s Tampa Bay area through a partnership with the MacDonald Training Center (MTC). MTC has provided innovative employment services for more than thirty years, during which it has trained and placed thousands of individuals with physical and intellectual challenges into successful employment throughout the community. MTC offers a life and job skills training curriculum, community-based residential supports, and competitive employment placement services.

Together, the organizations are identifying opportunities for WellCare to expand its workforce diversity and further MTC’s mission. WellCare and MTC aim to promote self-sufficiency and community integration for people with disabilities, including military veterans. To launch the partnership, the WellCare Community Foundation donated $50,000 to help the training center provide educational, vocational, and residential support services for people with disabilities.

WellCare plans to implement its workforce diversity goals through a two-phase approach. During the first phase, MTC will assemble an advisory council to conduct research and compile best practice recommendations for WellCare. During the second phase, the advisory council will help WellCare implement workforce expansion and diversification, as well as provide ongoing support.

“MTC is proud to partner with WellCare on this commendable initiative,” said Jim Freyvogel, president and CEO of MTC. “Working together to fully diversify a major corporation is an exciting opportunity that will positively impact the lives of many people who live in the Tampa Bay area, including many with disabilities.”