Starbucks is very much a household name, and soon it may be contributing the household incomes of more than 10,000 teenagers. Starbucks, along with other retailers like Macy’s and Microsoft are announcing their new jobs program this week designed to offer training and jobs to 100,000 individuals between the ages of 16 and 19.

Putting Teens to Work

While the overall unemployment rate is dropping in the United States, the unemployment rate for teens has been holding steady at around 18 percent. This is a huge number of teens who are actively seeking employment but simply can’t find any.

Macy’s, CVS, ChaseMorgan, Microsoft and Starbucks are planning to step into that void and help 100,000 teens gain valuable skills through specialized training and then employment.

"It’s not just about writing a check," says Starbucks founder and CEO Howard Schultz. "Rather, our approach is focused on creating a coalition of like minds with local knowledge, expertise on-the-ground and the ability to scale the social impact of an initiative like this to create pathways of opportunity for the literally millions of young people who can benefit from this program."

Starbucks has only a portion of the much larger 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. The company plans to hire, train and put to work 10,000 teenagers by 2018. The other companies in the partnership will be using their own goals and strategies, but the group plan to share tactics and some training as they work together.

100,000 Opportunities Initiative

The program will begin officially in Chicago in August. The combined companies plan to recruit and hire roughly 200 employees at the Chicago Opportunity Fair & Forum. After this initial move, the program will continue to spread across the United States, with plans to change lives as it spreads. We can hope that the program will spur other companies to look at these teens as potentially valuable employees and boost hiring across all sectors.

We can also hope that the training at Starbucks will be solid. After all, a company can’t be that bad if the vast majority of complaints about the company here on this site are things like an employee making a “frapuccino too liquidy and put caramel at the bottom. not on the sides.”

Of course when customers spend money they want the item they have paid for and they would like their name spelled correctly as well. Surely Starbucks will include basic name spelling courses as well to please the masses with hard-to-spell names who enjoy complaining about mistakes.


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