Starbucks Leads Corporate Initiative for Youth Employment

July 13, 2015

A coalition of 17 companies, including Philanthropy Northwest members Alaska Airlines, JPMorgan Chase, Microsoft and Starbucks, have pledged to train and hire 100,000 16- to 24-year-old Americans who face systemic barriers to jobs and education. The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative will hit the ground with a job fair in Chicago on August 13. Funders participating in the initiative include Philanthropy Northwest members JPMorgan Chase and the Schultz Family Foundation.

From the press release:

There are currently 5.6 million youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of school and not working. At the same time, there are 3.5 million unfilled jobs in the U.S. Jobs that do not require a 4-year degree — sometimes called middle-skill jobs — make up the largest part of the labor market in the United States. For employers looking to fill these jobs, young, motivated workers are a vital and untapped resource. However, young people are often unaware that these opportunities are available, nor are they aware of the steps they need to take to pursue and secure these jobs. At the same time, employers often do not have clear strategies to effectively recruit, train and retain young workers.

In response, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is committing to create the pathways young workers need to build skills, attain credentials and ultimately secure a job. Companies engaged in the coalition will help to launch careers for young people who are just entering the workforce through internships, apprenticeships and on the job training, as well as to develop the potential of youth who have some work experience but are looking to gain new skills that will lead to a successful career. These companies have joined together and are operating with the belief that with the right skills and training, Opportunity Youth represent an unrealized pipeline of talent and an economic engine that can be ignited.

Companies interested in joining the effort are encouraged to visit the website.