Starbucks, 17 Other Companies Partner To Provide “Opportunity Youth” With Jobs, Internships

A coalition of companies - led by Starbucks - have vowed to put nearly 100,000 consumers ages 16 to 24 to work over the next three years.

A coalition of companies – led by Starbucks – have vowed to put nearly 100,000 consumers ages 16 to 24 to work over the next three years.

Teaching young adults responsibility — and showing them that responsibility can have financial benefits — pays off in the long run by cultivating a solid work ethic. That’s the thinking behind a new multi-company initiative spearheaded by Starbucks.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Starbucks, along with major corporations such as Walmart, Microsoft, Lyft, JPMorgan Chase, Yum Brands, Macy’s, Alaska Air Group and others, have pledged to hire 100,000 “opportunity youth” – otherwise known as, low-income, 16- to 24-year-olds who aren’t in school and aren’t working – as interns and part- and full-time employees by 2018.

The program, referred to as the “100,000 Opportunities Initiative,” will kick off with a massive job fair in Chicago next month, where the companies plan to hire about 1,000 people. Several other job fairs around the country are scheduled for the the coming months.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, spearheaded the program and reportedly provided $30 million in funding for the effort through the Schultz Family Foundation, the Washington Post reports.

“The old days of writing a check and making an announcement and a press release and walking away — people do a lot of that, and they still do that today,” Schultz says. “But the truth is that what’s required today is a coalition of like-minded individuals who bring a skill base and presence on the ground to have an impact on an issue as serious as this.”

The souped-up initiative comes just months after Schultz vowed that Starbucks would hire at least 10,000 young, low-income people in the U.S. over the next three years.

Starbucks says, that for its part, the new hires will be for a mix of new positions and replacements for employees who leave the company. The WSJ reports that other companies will largely create new hourly-wage positions focused on young African-American and Latino youth.

“We’re not displacing jobs, but creating incremental opportunities in most of these companies,” Schultz said.

Starbucks Leads Multi-Company Initiative to Hire 100,000 Young, Minority Workers [The Wall Street Journal]
Starbucks is rounding up employers to hire America’s “lost generation” [The Washington Post]

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