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

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8157
JPY
USD
119.96
GBP
USD
0.6402
CAD
USD
1.1629
INR
USD
63.200

Rates may not be current.