(The Starbucks-led 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has been signed onto by large companies across America and almost from A-Z: from Alaska Airlines to Walgreens and Walmart.).
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Starbucks said it will hire 20 to 25 employees per store, and it plans to work with local women- and minority-owned businesses in the design and development of the shops.
Starbucks today announced it will open stores in 15 diverse, low to medium income urban communities across the United States, with at least five stores expected to open in 2016. Now, a Starbucks is opening in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood.
Plans for the 63rd and Halsted location include a 400-500 square foot space where teens undergo the same training as new Starbucks employees. Beginning in 2012, the foundation has helped back STL Youth Jobs, which helps train hundreds of youth each year to hold jobs and connect them with local employers.
The company will try to do so in a neighborhood known for being one of the most crime-ridden in the city and country as a whole.
Damodaran says the company plans on turning a profit at the new locations, and that demand for its products is growing in lower-income communities. The aim is to integrate more disadvantaged youths into its workforce. “Starbucks is stepping up and investing in our community in a way that will open up exciting opportunities for all”.
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was another factor in the decision, Taylor said. This Starbucks location is unique in that it will focus on hiring and training underserved young people.
In April, Fortune broke news of Starbucks’ planned Ferguson location. “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”.
Howard Bailey employs a half a dozen young people at his new cafe in Englewood.
“Young people who are trying to get jobs without these skills have a tougher time getting the job and keeping them over time”, Taylor told the Post-Dispatch. “We look forward to welcoming Starbucks to our Englewood community and share in their ongoing commitment to the training, employment and education of our nation’s youth”.
One of the stores will be in Ferguson, Missouri, where racially-charged protests followed the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer. A Starbucks spokeswoman said the company is still exploring with whom to partner in the training program.
Starbucks is in talks with nonprofit groups, including the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, to develop the free job coaching.
Schultz, who in the past has spoken out on support for legalizing same-sex marriage and stricter gun laws, has signaled in recent months that he plans to use the weight of Starbucks and his family foundation to tackle the issue of youth unemployment. The company has hiked its already high coffee prices in USA stores for three summers running, thanks to rising costs for coffee, labor, and rent, among others.