Starbucks to open stores in lower-income urban areas, including Ferguson

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Starbucks to open stores in lower-income urban areas, including Ferguson

By Marianne Wilson - 07/31/2015

Seattle -- Starbucks Corp. is making good on its pledge to spur job growth among “opportunity youth,” or young people aged 16 to 24 who don’t have jobs and aren’t in school.

The coffee giant said on Thursday it plans to open stores in 15 diverse, low- to median-income urban communities across the United States by 2018, starting with at least five stores in 2016. The plans include a store near the heart of last summer’s racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Starbucks will open the first of its new urban stores in the Englewood neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side; the West Florissant neighborhood in Ferguson; the Jamaica neighborhood in Queens, New York; and in Milwaukee. It will also remodel its store at 7th & Camelback in Phoenix.

At each location, Starbucks plans to hire 20 to 25 people from the neighborhood. The retailer also plans to collaborate with local women and minority owned contractors and businesses in the design and development of the stores, and work with women and minority owned suppliers to sell locally-made food products in the locations.

In addition, each of the stores will have an onsite training space where young people can learn customer service and retail skills.

Starbucks will also partner with local youth services organizations and government to leverage existing programs that help connect young people with internships, apprenticeships and jobs in the community.

“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.”

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