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Opportunity for Youth

Committed to Hiring 100,000 Opportunity Youth by 2020 and Providing Career and Education Opportunities

In the US, there are 4.9 million 16 to 24 year olds who are not working or in school. Called Opportunity Youth, they face obstacles and are disconnected from the individuals, institutions, and experiences needed to help them succeed. Yet we know, these talented, resilient young adults want to be successful. 77% of Opportunity Youth believe that getting a good education and a job is their responsibility.

In 2015, Starbucks committed to hiring 10,000 Opportunity Youth by 2018 because they represent our future workforce as well as our future customers. These young men and women represent a huge, untapped opportunity for an infusion of productivity and creativity in the workforce.

As of March 2017, Starbucks is proud to announce we have hired over 40,000 and expanded our goal to hiring 100,000 Opportunity Youth by 2020.

And, our commitment extends beyond hiring. We are creating pathways to opportunity for the next generation of talented leaders. At Starbucks, we are a best-in-class employer for youth, providing access to robust benefits, career development, and leadership support.

Starbucks College Achievement Plan

Any Starbucks (partner) employee in the U.S. who does not have college degree and is working at least 20 hours a week, has an unprecedented opportunity to enroll in college and finish their bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan.

100,000 Opportunities​ Initiative

Starbucks and other leading companies launched the 100,000 Opportunities InitiativeTM in Chicago in August 2015. This Initiative has quickly become the country’s largest employer-led coalition committed to creating pathways to meaningful employment and education, hiring 100,000 Opportunity Youth two years ahead of schedule. With membership now exceeding 50 employers and growing, this coalition is poised to make an even bigger impact, and has committed to hiring one million Opportunity Youth by 2021, continuing to evolve employer practices to support youth, and fund innovative approaches to prepare youth for employment.

As part of this effort, the 100,000 Opportunities InitiativeTM has hosted Opportunity Fairs in Chicago, PhoenixLos Angeles and Seattle, resulting in 3,000 on-the-spot job offers.

Opportunity for Youth Grants

The Starbucks Foundation also believes in creating pathways to lifelong opportunity for young people. We are proud to partner with organizations who are providing the training and experiences needed to help Opportunity Youth become job ready. In 2016, we are investing in 30 of the country’s best nonprofit organizations and impacting more than 34,000 young adults. To learn more about these organizations: see the​ latest grant recipients (pdf)

Note: Starting in 2015, the Starbucks Foundation moved to an invitation-only grants process for our US and Canadian grants. The Starbucks Foundation will no longer offer an open letter of inquiry. Additionally, we are now making larger grants in fewer key cities to ensure the most impact. For answers to the most frequently asked questions regarding our social investments, see our Community Investments FAQ.

Global Investments

Starbucks is committed to creating pathways to opportunities and employment in communities around the world.

Starbucks Work Placement Program – (Canada) Starbucks is helping support youth employment programs in Calgary, Toronto, and Vancouver, which combine in-class core life skills and employability training with real-life on-the-job work placement experience.

Starbucks Apprenticeship - Barista Mastery and Customer Service – (United Kingdom) Starbucks has helped created an apprenticeship program for youth who are looking to gain a variety of transferrable skills while building a retail management career.

Soong Ching Ling Foundation (CSCLF) – (China) Furthering our eight-year relationship with CSCLF, the Youth Leadership Development Program helps students build their skills and access mentorships with Starbucks senior leaders.