Starbucks Accelerates Commitment to Hiring 10,000 Opportunity Youth, Deepens Investments and Engagement in Diverse, Under-represented Communities across the U.S.

  • Starbucks Plans to Open Stores in Diverse, Under-represented Neighborhoods in 15 U.S. Cities, Will Work with Local Minority- and Women-Owned Suppliers, Nonprofits and Civic Leaders to Create New Opportunities for Economic Development and Community Engagement
  • First Stores to Open in Chicago, Ferguson, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and Queens, New York
  • Starbucks Multiplies Impact Beyond Stores with $1.5 Million in Starbucks Foundation Opportunity for Youth Grants in 15 U.S. Cities to Support Youth Training and Hiring Programs with Proven Results

As part of its Customer Service Excellence Training Program, Starbucks works with local nonprofits to train youth and help them develop skills that will enable them to become job ready. The Starbucks Foundation announced that it has awarded $1.5 million in Opportunity for Youth grants to 72 nonprofit organizations in 15 U.S. cities for fiscal year 2016. (Photo: Business Wire)

SEATTLE--()--On the heels of the launch of the private-sector led “100,000 Opportunities Initiative” to increase hiring of America’s opportunity youth, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced two key strategic initiatives to support economic development and social change in diverse, urban communities by helping young people connect with meaningful employment and pathways to success.

Starbucks to Open Stores in Diverse, Urban Communities

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. These stores will be a key strategy in achieving the company’s previously stated goal of hiring 10,000 Opportunity Youth – young people between the ages of 16-24 who face systemic barriers to meaningful jobs and education – and the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative’s collective goal of hiring 100,000 opportunity youth by 2018.

Starbucks will open the first of these stores in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago’s south side; the West Florissant neighborhood in Ferguson, Missouri; the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens, New York; and Milwaukee, and will remodel its store at 7th & Camelback in Phoenix. 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 youth with internships, apprenticeships and jobs in the community and foster the type of dialogue and engagement needed for continued social change.

“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 partners (employees) per store from the local community, providing a new pathway to opportunity through training and development, meaningful career options and industry-leading benefits that include the chance to get full tuition coverage to finish an online bachelor’s degree at 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, chief executive officer for the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, which recently broke ground on a new jobs and education center for youth in Ferguson. “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.”

“We want to decrease the number of young men and women in Phoenix who are not connected to meaningful educational or career paths,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “I applaud Starbucks for helping low-income, diverse communities address this problem. These new Starbucks stores will help engage our young people with exciting new training opportunities and help support our city’s minority-owned and operated suppliers.”

“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 Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“A new generation of young people – especially in low-income communities – are at risk for never, ever having a job,” said Congressman Bobby L. Rush of the 1st District of Illinois. “These young people are often neglected, especially those who are no longer in school or unable to find jobs, and are not being trained to be productive citizens in the workplace. 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.”

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 its store development strategies.

Starbucks Foundation Announces $1.5 Million in Opportunity for Youth Grants in 15 U.S. Cities

Today, the Starbucks Foundation also announced that it has awarded $1.5 million in Opportunity for Youth grants to 72 nonprofit organizations in 15 U.S. cities for fiscal year 2016. These grants, ranging from $5,000 to $75,000, build on the foundation’s long history of investing in proven, as well as innovative, programs that equip young people ages 16-24 with the skills and training required for the changing global economy. Starbucks partners (employees) engage and volunteer with the organizations to help young people become job-ready and develop skills to continue on the pathway of opportunity. Since launching in 1997, the Starbucks Foundation has grown to support communities around the globe. In 2014, the foundation gave $13.1 million, making 144 grants to nonprofit organizations, including $3.37 million to organizations supporting opportunity youth around the world.

“The Starbucks Foundation is dedicated to empowering our nation’s young people to seek out the right path forward – through development and training, public service and volunteering, educational opportunities and job readiness,” said Taylor. “We are thrilled to be able to award $1.5 million to these well-deserving non-profits who will help multiply impact beyond our stores and make a meaningful impact to these young future leaders.”

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit our stores or online at and


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Release Summary

Starbucks to open stores in diverse, under-represented neighborhoods - first stores in Chicago, Ferguson, Milwaukee, Phoenix, and Queens, New York. Starbucks Foundation issues $1.5 Million in grants.


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