Today, Starbucks is offering veterans, reservists and military spouses a free tall brewed coffee at any of our company-owned locations in the U.S. It’s just our small way of thanking the courageous men and women who serve our great nation, and the families that support them every day.
But this is about so much more than coffee. As a US Marine Corps veteran, manager in equal opportunity and leader of Starbucks Armed Forces Network (AFN), I’ve met with veterans around the country who face too many hurdles when looking for meaningful jobs. We have also strategized with Starbucks business leaders to conduct veteran outreach efforts across the country. In fact, more than one million active duty members are expected to transition back to civilian life over the next five years. Despite their extensive skills and leadership qualities, many struggle to find jobs in the private sector because businesses do not know how to translate their military experience. As former U.S. Secretary of Defense and Starbucks board member Robert Gates says in this video, they’re not looking for charity or a handout. They’re looking for careers at a mission-driven organization that shares their values.
As a 20-year partner at Starbucks, I am confident we can offer them that place. For me, my Starbucks journey began when I was introduced to Starbucks Coffee prior to leaving the Marine Corps. Leading a small team in a dynamic environment, serving the world’s greatest coffee was a job description I could not ignore.
That’s why I’m so proud that Starbucks has committed to hire at least 10,000 veterans and active duty spouses over the next five years to come join our teams as we continue to grow globally. With enhanced tools and resources in place, we’ll be able to help veterans and military spouses connect with partners and translate their skills to jobs that match their background, interests and most importantly, transferable skills.
We are also establishing five community stores near joint bases around the US, where 10 cents of every transaction will go towards a local nonprofit that is working to connect veterans with meaningful jobs. Read more about it here.
On behalf of the AFN, I want to thank everyone who helped launch this new commitment. It’s just another example of how Starbucks partners come together to make things happen every day.
We look forward to serving our veterans and military spouses today. Coffee is on us.
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posted by The Old Sarge