Young and unemployed? Things could soon be looking up for you.
Nearly 20 big American companies, including Starbucks, Wal-Mart, CVS Health, Microsoft, and Target, unveiled a plan Monday to find jobs for 100,000 unemployed young people by 2018, The New York Times reports.
Led by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, the effort is called “The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative,’’ and will focus on helping the estimated 5.6 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither studying nor working.
The companies promise to hire mostly low-income apprentices, interns, and part- and full-time employees. Starbucks alone is pledging $30 million to help young people enter the workforce, investing in skills training, mentorship, and youth engagement programs.
In an op-ed for the NY Times, Schultz and wife Sheri Schultz addressed the need to connect the country’s youth with jobs:
Schultz started the movement last March when he pledged to hire 10,000 low-income young people over the next three years. Some of the new hires will replace employees leaving the company, but most of the entry-level positions would be created, The Wall Street Journal said.
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The coalition-wide initiative kicks off August 13 at a job fair in Chicago, where the companies expect to hire over 1,000 employees for the Chicago area. Schultz told WSJ the coalition expects to hold more job fairs in other cities in the future.
“This is not charity. It solves a real business problem: According to one study, one-third of employers surveyed have trouble filling open positions because of talent shortages, and 43 percent say those shortages hurt their business,’’ Schultz’s op-ed continued. Starbucks typically pays baristas above minimum wage, between $10 and $15 per hour, and offers all employees (even part-timers) health insurance.
In 2015, Starbucks made the Ethisphere Institute’s “World’s Most Ethical Companies’’ list for the ninth year in a row.