Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) announced it will open stores in 15 low-to-medium income urban communities in the United States. The first five locations, expected to open in 2016, are part of the company's previously announced goal to hire 10,000 opportunity youth, or young people ages 16 to 24 facing systemic barriers to jobs and education.
Earlier this spring, Starbucks announced an ambitious expansion plan that included opening 8,000 new stores in the next five years, including the debut of a new smaller format in urban areas.
The first of these stores will open in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago's south side; the West Florissant neighborhood in Ferguson, Missouri; the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens, New York; and downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Also, Starbucks will remodel an existing store in Phoenix, Arizona.
The new locations will have on-site training for employees. Starbucks will also connect young employees with local organizations and government programs that foster internships.
"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."
Each store will hire between 20 and 25 employees from the community and all staff will be given the opportunity to get an online, tuition-free college degree from Arizona State University through the company's College Achievement Plan. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) has a similar program known as Career Choice, which prepays 95 percent of school tuition costs for courses related to in-demand fields, whether or not those skills are relevant to Amazon.
Starbucks plans to accelerate the development of these stores over the next three years.
-See this Starbucks press release
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