tampabay.com

Talk of the bay

By TIMES WIRES
Published November 21, 2006


TARGET AGREES PRICE IS RIGHT: $4 FOR GENERICS

The discount generic drug steamroller unleashed by Wal-Mart in the Tampa Bay area in September is quickly spreading nationwide. On Monday, Target Corp. said it is offering a $4 generic prescription program at all its pharmacies in 47 states. The Minneapolis discounter has been racing to keep up with Wal-Mart, which expanded its $4 drug program from the Tampa Bay region to all of Florida within two weeks. In mid November, Wal-Mart went even farther, making the discount generics available at 3,000 pharmacies in 38 states. In this game of retail one-upsmanship, Target has decided to eliminate the confusion by simply making the $4 generics available everywhere it has a pharmacy.

Cigna workers get holiday heave-ho

Happy holidays, you're fired! That was pretty much the message Cigna Healthcare recently gave to the 61 workers in its behavioral health unit in Tampa. All of the employees will be dismissed in mid January as the insurer seeks to save money by consolidating its behavioral health services at four other locations nationwide. Cigna will, however, retain 160 employees in Tampa who handle other parts of its operations. The jobs affected are mostly call center workers who handled queries from Cigna members with mental health issues. No word on whom those workers, stressed over upcoming layoffs, might call for help.

YMCA puts federal grant right to work

We could all use some lessons on how to survive in the working world. Soon, 100 young people in Hillsborough County will get them. The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA said Monday it had received a $743,000 grant from the Department of Labor to launch a program called Workforce Empowerment. The program will help disadvantaged youth age 16 to 22, especially those who are aging out of foster care, get ready for the work force. Participants will have mentors helping them in areas like education, child care and life skills. And the careers that will be emphasized: banking and finance.

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