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"The value we are creating for shareholders is tied to the values that guide us as an organization. As I look at the opportunity ahead of us, we're going to need to hire men and women with like-minded values and the right job skills in order to continue our current levels of growth," said Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, in a recent statement. "The more than one million transitioning U.S. veterans and almost one and half million military spouses -- with their diverse background and experience -- share our mission-driven sensibility and work ethic and can build long-term careers at Starbucks as they return home."
The program will concentrate on matching skilled veterans and spouses with open positions, including jobs in supply chain management, logistics, and manufacturing, as well as the barista positions that commonly spring to mind when one thinks of the coffee chain. The company is currently building the infrastructure to support hiring 10,000 veterans and spouses in the next five years.
Targeted programs such as these have helped hundreds of thousands of veterans find jobs, The Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University tells NPR. Although the unemployment rate for all veterans' continues to decline (6.2 percent in August 2013), the rate of unemployment for post-9/11 veterans continues to outpace the national average (10 percent in August 2013, compared to 7.3 for all workers).
"This demographic represents one of the most underutilized talent pools in our country," says former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who also serves on the board of Starbucks.
Interested veterans and their spouses don't need to wait for the infrastructure to be in place: Starbucks currently offers a dedicated veteran's hiring site, which offers a skills translator to help match military experience with available jobs.
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