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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8957
JPY
USD
120.93
GBP
USD
0.6393
CAD
USD
1.2199
INR
USD
63.470

Rates may not be current.