February 25, 2015 Sustainability

Connecting Veterans to Jobs through Starbucks New Military Family Stores

Employing two Marine Corps veterans, a former Navy machinist and two military spouses, a Starbucks store in San Diego has among the highest percentage of partners (employees) with personal connections to the U.S. Armed Forces.  It’s fitting that this Starbucks location has received a special designation as the company’s first Military Family Store.

As part of Starbucks commitment to hire at least 10,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2018, the company created two Community Stores. One is near Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state and the other is by Joint Base San Antonio in Texas. A portion of each purchase in those Starbucks stores benefits nonprofit programs that support veterans.

“When we traveled to military communities across the country, we heard from our partners and customers that they want more of these places where we can connect in a personal way,” said Tim Bomke, Starbucks manager for military and veterans affairs, and a U.S. Army veteran. "It was clear that we had to do more and grow this program beyond the two military community stores."

Based on what they heard, Starbucks designed a new, more scalable Military Family Store program to link some of its stores with nonprofits that connect veterans with rewarding civilian jobs and with valuable community service work.

Starbucks newly-dedicated Military Family Store near California’s Camp Pendleton, the largest Marine Corps training facility on the West Coast, has teamed up with The Mission Continues.

A former Navy SEAL founded The Mission Continues in 2007 to set post-9/11 veterans on one of two distinct paths – a six month fellowship program that encourages a veteran to pursue service through public office or nonprofit agency, or community work through a range of tasks from natural disaster preparedness and recovery to training service dogs for wounded veterans. 

“Veterans are assets. They may not always know how to translate their skills into jobs, but without question they know how to lead and make a difference in a community,” said Moses Maddox, The Mission Continues fellowship program specialist. “I’m excited to see what we can do to address specific needs related to environmental stewardship here in San Diego.”

Maddox, who deployed to Iraq twice when he served in the Marine Corps, will also help Starbucks better understand military culture. At the same time, Starbucks district manager Melissa Ochs and others from the company will help Maddox coordinate resume writing and interview skills classes for veterans. Together, partners at the store near Camp Pendleton and The Mission Continues participants will take on their first community service project in April, during Starbucks Global Month of Service.

“Serving our country is one of the most selfless things that someone can do,” said Ochs. “This is where my heart is and I’m honored to have the opportunity to support our efforts to hire veterans.”

Starbucks plans to open 11 additional Military Family Stores before the end of 2015.


Starbucks veterans and military spouses hiring initiative news

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