Starbucks (SBUX) shares hit an all-time high after the world’s largest coffee retailer announced its plans to team up with more than a dozen U.S. companies to create 100,000 jobs for the youth over the next three years.
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The coffee giant, whose shares are up 35% percent this year is already one of the world’s leading youth employers with nearly 80% of its workforce being millennials.
The proposed “100,000 Opportunities Initiative," will target young Americans aged between the ages of 16 and 24, who are neither studying nor working. The goal is to create pathways to meaningful employment through apprenticeships, internships, training programs, and both part-time and full-time jobs.
“By using our scale to create pathways to affordable education and meaningful employment for these young men and women, we’re strengthening both our workforce and our economy,” said Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, who initiated the program.
Over 17 companies have already joined the coalition with even more expected. The group intends to become the nation’s largest employer-led coalition committed to creating jobs.
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Founding companies include Alaska Airlines (ALK), Cintas (CTAS) , CVS Health (CVS) , Hilton Worldwide NYSE:HLT), HMSHost, JCPenney (JCP), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Lyft, Macy's (M), Microsoft (MSFT), Porch.com, Potbelly Sandwich Shop (PBPB), Taco Bell (YUM), Target (TGT), Walgreens (WAG) and Walmart (WMT).
“As a company that gives many young Americans their very first job, Taco Bell proudly invests in developing its next generation of leaders through education, job and life skills, and a culture that promotes growth,” said Brian Niccol, CEO of Taco Bell Corp.
In the U.S., there are currently 5.6 million youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are out of school and not working. At the same time, there are 3.5 million unfilled jobs in the country that do not require a four-year degree.
The coalition will host its first jobs fair in Chicago on August 13th, which is one of many expected across the country. Schultz recruited actor and rap artist Common, a Chicago-native, to lead a discussion with about 2,000 young people, who are expected to attend. The companies have already set a goal of making 1,000 hires — including 200 on-the-spot job hires — from young people who attend the Chicago fair.
"I believe in the talent that lies within our young people, and I know that when we give them a real chance, they will achieve and soar," Common said in a statement.