Starbucks Plans Training Centers, $1.5M Grants for Young Employees in 15 Cities

July 16, 2015

Following up on its 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, Starbucks has announced two supplementary efforts "to support economic development and social change in diverse, urban communities by helping young people connect with meaningful employment and pathways to success."

The first is to open stores with training centers in 15 low-income urban communities, beginning with Ferguson, Mo. and Chicago's South Side. "Each of these locations will have an onsite training space where young people can learn valuable customer service and retail skills, based on the same world-class training Starbucks partners (employees) receive. 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 and foster the type of dialogue and engagement needed for continued social change." Starbucks employees who work 20 or more hours a week get medical benefits and the option to enroll in a free 4-year college degree program from Arizona State University.

The second is $1.5 million in Opportunity for Youth grants to 72 nonprofits in 15 U.S. cities next year, "to help young people become job-ready."

A Forbes contributor reports:

It would always have made sense to put these stores in these neighborhoods.  But, it hasn’t necessarily been easy to put the stores in these neighborhoods, because it has required more outreach from Starbucks to identify the vendors and other collaborators (Starbucks is committing to partnering with local contractors and businesses in the design and development of these stores, including local women and minority-owned contractors) necessary to make this happen.

For more information, contact the Starbucks Newsroom.