Starbucks is ramping up its hiring efforts, announcing plans Wednesday to create more than 240,000 jobs globally by 2021.
In the U.S. alone, the company is slated to add 68,000 jobs as it moves toward opening 3,400 new stores by that year. Partially included in that number are other programs the coffee chain sponsors to boost hiring among groups like veterans and teens.
Starbucks boasted that it had reached its initial goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses ahead of its 2018 deadline and will be expanding its goal to 25,000 by 2025.
"We are better because of them," CEO Howard Schultzsaid of the veterans that have been hired at Starbucks, noting that their leadership skills have been a boon for the company.
In addition, Starbucks is scheduled to open 100 more military family stores throughout the U.S. in the next five years. These stores are designed to support military communities and are staffed by veterans, advocates and military spouses. So far, the chain has 32 of these stores.
The company will also be hiring more young people. Starbucks said it has exceeded its goal of hiring 10,000 "opportunity youth" in America by 2018 by hiring more than 40,000. Starbucks said it is helping to jump-start their careers by giving them their first job. The company said it will be expanding its goal to 100,000 hires by 2020.
"All they are looking for is someone to open a door and to view them on their own merit," Schultz said.
Globally, Starbucks has joined with the UN Refugee Agency, International Rescue Committee's #WithRefugees campaign and the Tent Partnership of Refugees to "scale up the company's support and efforts to reach refugee candidates." The coffee chain announced in January that it would hire 10,000 refugees by 2022.
"Not every decision in business is an economic one," Schultz said of the company's investment in its employees. He said the role of a public company is "steeped in humanity" and that they have a moral obligation to do what is ethical, not just what is profitable.
When current CEO previously revealed that the company would be hiring these refugees, many social media users balked, claiming that the company was giving away jobs that could be filled by Americans or American veterans. However, not all of the proposed jobs will be in the United States.
Starbucks operates in more than 75 countries. The company said in January that initial hiring efforts would begin in the U.S. and would focus on individuals who served the U.S. military as interpreters and support personnel.
The new hiring goals were announced at Starbucks' annual meeting of shareholders. The company also noted that Kevin Johnson will transition into the role of CEO on April 3. Schultz received a standing ovation during his opening remarks at his last shareholder meeting as CEO.
Starbucks will also be adding three new members to its board. Shareholders elected Rosalind Brewer, former president and CEO of Sam's Club; Jorgen Vig Knudstorp, executive chairman of Lego; and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, to the board.
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