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

Photogallery Early Nigeria Results Show Buhari Leading; Tampering Concerns Mount

One local group monitoring polls is concerned politicians might use security agencies to 'fiddle with the election collation process' at state level More

UN: 7,300 Civilians Killed in Boko Haram Insurgency

A senior UN humanitarian official tells the United Nations Security Council 1,000 people have been killed this year More

Turkish President Warns Iran About Trying to Dominate Middle East

Warning comes amid growing concerns inside Turkey that it will be sucked into a sectarian conflict with its neighbor 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.
Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadistsi
X
Greg Flakus
March 30, 2015 6:48 PM
At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video With Coalition Airstrikes, Iraq Entering 'Last Page' of IS Battle

American warplanes joined Iraq's battle against the so-called 'Islamic State' in northern Iraq late Wednesday, as Iraqi ground troops launched a massive assault on Tikrit. Analysts say the offensive could take the coalition a step further towards Mosul, the largest city held by Islamic State forces. Others say it could also deepen already-dangerous sectarian tensions in the region. VOA's Heather Murdock has more from Cairo.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video DOJ: Illinois National Guard Soldier Tried to Join ISIS

U.S. federal law enforcement agents arrested two suburban Chicago men accused of trying to join ISIS overseas, while also plotting attacks in the United States. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, one of those arrested is a soldier of the Illinois National Guard.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.9220
JPY
USD
119.88
GBP
USD
0.6757
CAD
USD
1.2640
INR
USD
62.626

Rates may not be current.