CVS Health donated the career skills lab to the Riverside Unified School District and now it's better than ever.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- It may look like a typical CVS Pharmacy, but the young people you see scanning items and stocking shelves at a new store in Riverside aren't actually employees.
In fact, they're students and young adults with disabilities who are using the mock store to practice work and life skills with real hands-on experience.
CVS Health donated the career skills lab to the Riverside Unified School District. It first opened its doors in 2015, but relaunched with brand new renovations this year.
"The space gives them enough experience and enough of an edge over the competition that they leave us feeling more prepared and ready to work," said RUSD teacher Laura Williams. "Their confidence and their understanding of the vocabulary that goes into working a retail site. It's phenomenal the growth we see in them."
Eyewitness News spoke with one of the students making use of the lab who also has a real part-time job serving coffee at a cafe.
She said she uses the lab to practice skills she still finds challenging.
"I learn about money and having a job," she said. "I like working. I am a hard learner. Hardworking, I have independence to work."
Most of the products in the lab are there for demonstration, but there are handmade items Riverside students created that the store actually sells.
"We built out everything from the shelving to the checkout counters to putting the products on the shelves, printing all the labels," explained Trang Malone, Workforce Initiatives Manager for CVS Health.
CVS Health even pulled signage from local stores to give the space an authentic feel. They also do mock job interviews to prepare them for future job opportunities.
So far, the lab has hosted 850 people and hopes to help many more for years to come.