Starbucks spearheaded an initiative of over a dozen big name brands to employ and engage at least 100,000 youths in the next three years.
The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is aimed at 16 to 24 year olds who face income equality. The goal of this program is to provide youth with apprenticeships, internships, training programs and part-time and full-time jobs. The founding companies include big names such as CVS, Microsoft, Taco Bell and Target.
“Companies engaged in the coalition will help to launch careers for young people who are just entering the workforce,” said a Starbucks press release. “These companies have joined together and are operating with the belief that with the right skills and training, Opportunity Youth represents an unrealized pipeline of talent and an economic engine that can be ignited.”
There were over five million job openings on the last business day of May, according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
While the BLS reported 5.4 million job openings as of May, Starbucks noted that 3.5 million jobs do not require a four-year degree.
“One hundred thousand jobs isn’t a lot, but it’s a start,” said Dan Schawbel, New York Times bestselling author and millennial career and branding expert. “It always takes people like Howard Schultz [Starbucks CEO] to start a movement and hopefully have more people join in to make a bigger impact. They’re big companies, so one will want to join in if they see their competitor doing it as well.”
Schawbel believes that the experience youth would get through this initiative is substantial.
“Even a two-week internship can change your life,” said Schawbel. “You go from someone with no background that people don’t know if they can trust to someone who can point to a brand and people will recognize that. People take brands seriously.”
To kick off the initiative the 100,000 Opportunities coalition will host its first job fair in Chicago on August 13th.