SEATTLE – Starbucks has announced strategic initiatives to support economic development and social change in urban communities by helping young get jobs.
Starbucks said that it will open coffeehouses in 15 low-to-medium income urban communities, with at least five stores expected to open in 2016. These stores will be a key strategy in achieving the company’s goal of hiring 10,000 Opportunity Youth—young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who face systemic barriers to jobs and education—and the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative’s collective goal of hiring 100,000 Opportunity Youth by 2018.
Seattle-based Starbucks will open the first of these stores in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s south side; the West Florissant neighborhood in Ferguson, Mo.; the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens, N.Y.; Milwaukee; and will remodel a store in Phoenix.
Each of these locations will have an onsite training space where young people can learn customer service and retail skills. Starbucks will also partner with local youth services organizations and government to leverage existing programs that help connect young people with internships, apprenticeships and jobs in the community.
“We have a long history of developing stores in diverse neighborhoods, and we hope to do even more—together with the community—to bring great jobs, engage young people and drive economic opportunity for all,” said Blair Taylor, chief community officer for Starbucks and chair of the Starbucks Foundation. “We want to be part of the solution in these communities and help create a sustainable future for those who may be looking for a second chance.”
Starbucks will hire on average 20 to 25 employees per store from the local community, providing a new pathway to opportunity through training and development, career options and benefits that include the chance to get an online, tuition-free bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.
Starbucks also plans to collaborate with local women- and minority-owned contractors and businesses in the design and development of these stores, and work with women- and minority-owned suppliers to bring locally made food products to the stores.
“There’s a quiet, much-needed movement underway to rebuild Ferguson” said Michael McMillan, CEO for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, which recently broke ground on a new jobs and education center for youth in Ferguson on the site of a former QuikTrip convenience store destroyed during the riots that followed the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown.
“Starbucks is stepping up and investing in our community in a way that will open up exciting opportunities for all. We hope more businesses will appreciate this city’s resilience and join us in turning what was a tragedy into a triumph,” he said.
“In making this commitment to open in Englewood, Starbucks, like Whole Foods, sees the opportunity and revitalization occurring in one of Chicago’s oldest neighborhoods. This is further proof that when the public and private sectors come together to invest in communities, we can create new jobs and economic resources that will spur economic growth into the future,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
To determine which communities are a good fit for this store concept, Starbucks looks at all the available data on the socio-economic health of America’s cities to understand which communities have the biggest opportunity gaps, which have the biggest need for business investment and leadership and where there is local movement underway to build a better future for its residents. The company plans to accelerate the development of these stores over the next three years with the goal of opening in at least 10 additional cities by 2018. Starbucks will monitor the success of the stores for continued adoption to embed with our store development strategies.