News / Economy

    Starbucks Collects for Job Growth Program

    Starbucks is giving these bracelets to customers who donate $5 or more to the Create Jobs for USA program.
    Starbucks is giving these bracelets to customers who donate $5 or more to the Create Jobs for USA program.
    Deborah Block

    The weak economy in the United States has made it tough for many people to find work.  The Starbucks coffee company, based in Seattle, Washington, is trying to promote job growth through its new Create Jobs for USA program.  This month, the company began collecting donations from its customers that will be loaned to small businesses that promise to hire people in lower income communities.

    Sally Shafor gets a cup of coffee at a Starbucks in Alexandria, Virginia.
    Sally Shafor gets a cup of coffee at a Starbucks in Alexandria, Virginia.

    “I’ll take a grande coffee of the day please, with room for cream. And I’d like to donate $5 to the create jobs program," said Sally Shafor at a Starbucks in Alexandria, Virginia.

    She has a job, but she knows people who don’t.  "I know that the economy has made it difficult for many people to find jobs these days, and so if there is any way I can help, I’m happy to," she said.

    Starbucks is hoping millions of customers like Shafor will be happy to contribute money at its stores in the United States.  Adam Brotman, a spokesman for Starbucks, says the company is giving $5 million to get the program started. “It’s no longer enough for a company, in this day and age, to just serve its customers, employees and shareholders.  It’s a company’s responsibility, as a corporate citizen, to serve the very communities where they do business," he said.

    Brotman says small businesses create the most new jobs, but many of them can’t hire new workers now because they are not able to get credit. "We went looking for a way we could put our dollars to work in underserved communities [with] small businesses and community businesses, because they would have the most impact for job creation," he said.

    Starbucks is covering the program's administrative costs. The donations are being given to the Opportunity Finance Network, a non-profit that works with 180 local financial institutions which provide loans to low-income communities.

    “The reason that we chose the Opportunity Finance Network to be our partner is because they have already selected the most impactful of these community development financial institutions, or CDFI’s, serving the most in-need neighborhoods in the country,' said Brotman.

    Mark Pinsky, chief executive officer at the Opportunity Finance Network, says the businesses must be able to hire people quickly.  “It will create construction jobs for people who build homes or office buildings.  It will create jobs for teachers and school administrators.  And it will take care of people who work in offices," he said.

    He says the small businesses will be audited to make sure the donations are being used to create jobs.  

    Economist Mark Zandi at Moody's Analytics says it is up to private industry to help stimulate the economy - especially since President Obama and the U.S. Congress have not been able to agree on a jobs creation program. “The government can help during crisis and try to fill the void when people are panicked, but at the end of the day, we need the private companies and private sector to come together and create those jobs," he said.

    He notes it may not be easy for Starbucks to get donations during a recession.  “I don’t know if this is going to be a success, but hopefully, this is an idea that captures the imagination and people contribute," he said.

    Adam Brotman says Starbucks DOES hope to inspire other companies. “That they will either join us, or partner with us, or they’ll do something similar, because we just hope to be a catalyst and an inspiration for change," he said.

    You May Like

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8869
    JPY
    USD
    112.70
    GBP
    USD
    0.6894
    CAD
    USD
    1.3922
    INR
    USD
    68.241

    Rates may not be current.