Starbucks wants to be more than just your morning coffee stop. After the controversial and short-lived “Race Together” initiative, which was meant to get people talking about complex race issues, Starbucks has launched a plan to tackle a new social issue: youth unemployment.Starbucks is leading the “100,000 Opportunities Initiative,” along with other well-known U.S. companies like Taco Bell, J.C. Penney, Potbelly, Microsoft, Target, and Walgreens. Collectively, these companies aim to hire 100,000 underprivileged, unemployed youth (who are not in school) between the ages of 16 and 24.
The coalition was announced in today’s New York Times by an op-ed by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and his wife Sherri Schultz, who are behind the philanthropic Schultz Family Foundation. The dozens of companies involved have pledged to provide jobs, internships, and apprenticeships to 100,000 young people over the next three years. Starbucks has committed to hiring at least 10,000 of these youths.
“This is not charity,” writes Schultz in the op-ed. “It solves a real business problem: According to one study, one-third of employers surveyed have trouble filling open positions because of talent shortages. We want to help recast the stories [of these young people] so they can grow into self-sufficient parents, employees and leaders.”