November 6, 2013 Company

Starbucks Commitment to Hire Veterans and Military Spouses

Company to build a pipeline of talent focused on veterans and active duty spouses, including infrastructure to support at least 10,000 hires in five years

Starbucks to open five Community Stores over five years in U.S. joint base locations to help fund local non-profit programs that support veterans re-entering the workforce

Company will thank those who serve our country, and the impact they make on our communities around the world, by offering a free tall brewed coffee to veterans, active duty military and military spouses on Veterans Day

SEATTLE, November 6, 2013 – Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ:SBUX) today announced a strategic commitment to develop a comprehensive hiring platform for veterans and active duty spouses in response to record growth and in anticipation of a 500,000 person future global workforce. In addition, a store in Lakewood, WA and a store in San Antonio, TX will begin sharing a portion of each transaction with non-profit programs Operation GoodJobs and Vested in Vets as part of a commitment to establish five such stores in joint base communities around the United States.

“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, Starbucks chairman, president and chief executive officer. “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.”

This multi-year hiring and career development strategy will focus on establishing an internal infrastructure dedicated to matching the transferable skill sets of veterans and military spouses with the specific talent needed across the Starbucks enterprise. It will also build upon and expand the company’s specialized mentoring programs as provided via the Armed Forces Network (AFN), a peer organization whose emphasis is to ensure new hires have access to the information and resources they need to be successful. The AFN has been a part of Starbucks since 2007, supporting transitioning military and has led the company’s efforts to make it an employer of choice for new hires.

“One of the most significant challenges our veterans face is a corporation’s inability to understand and translate the skills of military service into a meaningful private sector role,” said former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates. “Veterans and military spouses represent one of the most underutilized talent pools in our country and, without the proper career path, will continue to go untapped. Companies like Starbucks recognize this opportunity and are moving swiftly and aggressively to match the jobs they will create in the future with the talent returning to America over the next several years."

As an organization with nearly 200,000 partners (employees) worldwide, Starbucks growth and leadership opportunities will be as diverse as the backgrounds required of them. From running a million dollar enterprise as a store manager to specialized supply chain, manufacturing or logistics roles, the portfolio of careers available at Starbucks reflects the need for highly skilled applicants. This, in collaboration with flexible work schedules and comprehensive benefit packages, makes Starbucks an employer of choice for the more than 100,000 partners who wear the green apron across the United States. Prospective candidates can learn more about how their backgrounds align with Starbucks positions through a jobs skills translator that is available on Starbucks veterans hiring website:

“On behalf of the First Lady and Dr. Biden, Joining Forces applauds Starbucks commitment to support our nation’s veterans. All over the country, companies like Starbucks are stepping up to serve our veterans and military families the same way they’ve served our country. Our servicemen and women lead in complex environments, build teams, and are natural managers of people and resources to get things done. That’s why hiring veterans isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also a smart business decision” said Colonel Rich Morales, Executive Director, Joining Forces.

“Companies that fail to engage the military community to identify quality job candidates are doing themselves a tremendous disservice” said Marjorie James, Executive Director of Hire America’s Heroes. “Veterans and military spouses are valued members of mission driven teams and working with an organization like Starbucks gives them an opportunity to establish a long term career that builds on that sense of purpose in pursuit of a common goal.”

In collaboration with this internal hiring infrastructure, Starbucks is leveraging one of its innovative community engagement models, the community store, to support the development of external career resources for service members and their spouses. Built upon a model of shared responsibility, a portion of each transaction within a community store is directed to a local nonprofit to assist in meeting the specific needs and opportunities of that community.

Neighborhoods in joint base locations offer significant opportunities to work with programs that have established tools targeting returning service members trying to achieve long-term economic security but lacking the necessary or consistent funding to maintain or grow these initiatives. Vested in Vets based out of San Antonio, TX and Operation GoodJobs, based out of Tacoma, WA, both programs of Goodwill, provide localized, positive learning environments with a proven track record of success. For example, between April 2012 and July 2013, Operation Good Jobs served over three hundred veterans and family members placing over 220 in local jobs.

In addition to these strategic initiatives, and as exemplified by the recent Come Together campaign, small gestures of kindness and compassion can bring people together and serve as a catalyst for conversation in the neighborhoods where they live and work. It is in this spirit that, on Veterans Day, all U.S. company owned locations will offer a free tall (12 fl. oz.) coffee to veterans, active duty military and military spouses in the United States as a gesture of thanks for their service. We are humbly indebted to their commitment, every day, and have never lost sight that the freedoms we enjoy are due in no small part to the sacrifices our veterans and their families have made over the years.

Veterans and military spouses already fill many different roles in diverse functions within our company. The partners (employees) profiled below are a few examples of the different ways Starbucks is benefiting from the skills of veterans and military spouses bring to our workplace.


Andrea, manager distribution operations, distribution & network planning

Seattle Support Center

Captain, U.S. Army

“I proudly served our country for 9 years in the Army where I had the opportunity to work in transportation and supply chain.  I also prepared and trained units to go to Iraq and managed 4,000 troops as an HR Generalist.  Today, I leverage my military training and leadership skills here at Starbucks where I manage inbound freight and help support 4 of our roasting plants in supply chain operations.  What I love about Starbucks is that your team is your family—just like in the military.”

Ty, barista

Webster, TX

Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps

“After 9/11, I enlisted as a Marine for the second time and did 3 tours in Iraq.  When I left active duty, it was a challenge to find a job and use the skills I learned in the military as a combat veteran.  What jobs even exist for former snipers?  I’m a new Starbucks partner, and I’ve been able to quickly leverage my background as a Marine Sergeant in a fast-paced and team-oriented environment to provide our world-class customer service as a barista.  As a single dad going to school on the GI Bill, the flexible schedule and overall benefits package makes this the perfect fit to work and get my degree at the same time.  Maybe I’ll be a store manager one day, but in the meantime, my family is taken care of.”

Brace, senior financial analyst, global supply chain & finance manufacturing 

Seattle Support Center

Logistics & Operations, U.S. Marine Corps

“Becoming a U.S. Marine was one of the best decisions I made in my life.  It’s also when I was first introduced to Starbucks.  My Starbucks Story began during my first tour of duty in the Middle East, when Howard sent a care package of soluble coffee to my unit in Baghdad while I was serving over the Christmas Holiday. I never forgot that gesture.  After I left the Marines, I pursued my MBA using the GI Bill, and my journey as a partner at Starbucks began as an intern in finance. Upon my return to campus in the Fall, I took a position as a barista with a nearby campus store and learned that some of those same team-building fundamentals I learned in the Marine Corps were absolutely critical there too!  My journey with Starbucks has been rewarding and fulfilling.  I now use the leadership and operational skills I learned in the military to help drive the financial planning and reporting processes for one of Starbucks’ major global cost centers.”

Carlos, senior administrative assistant, U.S. & Americas Finance

Seattle Support Center

Technical Sergeant, U.S. Air Force Reserves

“As a Technical Sergeant in the U.S. Air Force over the last 10 years, I’ve supported the unit wing commander who oversees more than 2,100 members.  I’m proud that I continue to have the opportunity to serve our country each month as a reservist.  Being in the military has helped me anticipate needs and developed my communication skills, which I use every day as a senior administrative assistant for Starbucks.”

Salina, business analysis manager, global pricing & testing

Seattle Support Center

Counterintelligence Assistant, U.S. Army

“I served for nearly 2 years in the Army as a Counterintelligence Assistant and was stationed on the same base as my husband who is a former Marine.  As a military family, we’ve lived in so many places.  After leaving active duty, I’m proud to have found a home here at Starbucks and use the military skills I learned.  The way we treat both our partners and our customers makes this feel like a big family and gives me a sense of community that I had not experienced since leaving my military family.”

Nate, store manager

Webster, TX

Hospital Corpsman and Petty Officer, Navy

“The Navy and Marine Corps prepared me for the business world.  I used the leadership skills I learned as a Hospital Corpsman and Petty Officer when I worked for Seattle’s Best Coffee to help lead my team to become one of the top performing stores in my region.  My coffee experience continued when I joined Starbucks.  I knew this was the company for me after I learned about the many things we stand for—serving the highest quality coffee from bean to cup, knowing our customers by name, and standing for that third place between home and work where people can come together and connect.  I’m proud that Starbucks supports the military because serving our country made me the man I am today and my veteran experience is the main reason I’m successful in this business.”

Colleen, group marketing manager, global brand loyalty

Seattle Support Center

Captain, U.S. Army

“As a Communications Officer in the U.S. Army, I led soldiers who were responsible for computers, radios, satellites, and other types of communications equipment that supported infantry and other combat units in the field.  When I left active duty and moved to Seattle, I wanted to work for Starbucks because we care so much about our partners, our customers, and the many communities we serve.  Today, I use the communications and leadership skills I learned in the military as a group marketing manager for our global brand loyalty team.  Teambuilding was a huge part of my responsibilities in the military and a large part of being successful at Starbucks, so it was the perfect fit.”

Sue Lowe, store manager

Carlsbad, CA

Military Spouse

“My husband has served our country in the Marines for the past two decades.  Although the unemployment rate for military spouses is twice the national average, I’ve always tried to stay ahead of the game when we’ve received our orders to relocate.  Starbucks has taken care of me every time I’ve asked to transfer.  Each time I move, and I see our logo and the green apron, I know they are my extended family, and it gives me that familiar feeling in a new place that can sometimes feel uncertain.  As a store manager, I can recruit, hire, and develop people.  This is exactly where I want to be—working for a company that truly values its people.”

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