Starbucks To Hire 20,000 Youth, Veterans, Military Spouses

Starbucks Holds Annual Shareholders Meeting
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Starbucks has had a tough week. Its visible diversity and racial inequality "Race Together" campaign is already over, as Associated Press reported, after heavy criticism of being opportunistic and inappropriate. But all the negative attention has glossed over a more practical plan of large-scale hiring over the next few years.

In a letter to employees, CEO Howard Schultz mentioned a plan to hire 10,000 youth over the next three years, "expanding our store footprint in urban communities across the country." In addition, during its annual meeting last week, the company also mentioned a second commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses, as explained in a press release.Furthermore, Starbucks last year announced its College Achievement Plan, through which many of its employees could get help paying for a degree. At the annual meeting, the company announced that it wanted to see 25,000 participants graduate from college by 2025. There are already 2,000 employees enrolled. "The company's hope is that a large number of these graduates will be 'Opportunity Youth': young people between the ages of 16-24 who are not enrolled in school or are out of the workforce," according to the press release.

Part of the focus on employment and education was Schultz's experience growing up in Brooklyn's Bayview housing projects, according to

"I can go to Brooklyn today and point to a 10-year old kid in the projects," Forbes quoted Schultz. "The odds that that kid is going to college and earn a four-year degree today versus when I was a kid are much lower." He also said that the majority of his employees "do not have access to an education or a college degree." Many students never finish their degree because of their inability to pay for education.

The combination of offering jobs and then a chance to gain an online college degree provides a practical ladder of opportunity to thousands who might not have otherwise had one. And the jobs for vets and spouses program offers important support to people returning from active duty and their families.
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