Starbucks has announced it will open 15 stores in low income and minority neighborhoods, including one in Ferguson, Missouri. The company wants "to broaden the coffee company's footprint in urban areas where they have set a goal of spurring job growth."
Company officials say the push dovetails with CEO Howard Schultz's pledge to hire 10,000 young Americans over the next three years who aren't currently employed or in school.
The new locations will run the gamut.
The first locations are expected to open next year in Ferguson's West Florissant Corridor, Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, and the Jamaica section of New York's Queens borough. Starbucks also plans to open a store in a yet-to-be determined neighborhood in Milwaukee as well rehabilitate an already existing store in Phoenix's Melrose District.
At each location, Starbucks plans to hire 20 to 25 young people from the neighborhood. The new stores will be designed so they can be used by Starbucks and local community organizations to conduct jobs skill training classes, said Blair Taylor, Starbucks chief community officer.
The company is hoping the jobs will give young people "the soft skills," to keep a job.
"We are really thinking about what a for-profit company such as ours can do in addition to the creation of jobs, and that's where this notion of building this kind of a store in communities that have been disenfranchised—particularly some of the ones that have been the most visible over the last few years-- comes into play," Blair Taylor, Starbucks chief community officer.said in an interview.