September 15, 2015 Community

Starbucks Plant Celebrates 20 Years, Launches Program for People with Disabilities

Together with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, National Organization on Disability and Crispus Attucks Association, Starbucks Inclusion Academy Program Provides Individuals with Disabilities an Opportunity to Gain Work Experience at its Roasting Plant in York, Pennsylvania

Inclusion Academy Program is Part of Starbucks National Initiative to Create Pathways to Opportunity for People Facing Barriers to Meaningful Education or Employment

YORK, Pennsylvania (September 15, 2015) – Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) has come together with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), the National Organization on Disability (NOD), and the Crispus Attucks Association to announce the successful completion of the first Starbucks Inclusion Academy at its roasting plant and distribution center in York. The Starbucks Inclusion Academy is a unique on-the-job six-week training program that helps individuals with disabilities gain meaningful work experience in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution roles. The announcement comes as Starbucks® Roasting Plant in York – one of the largest coffee roasting plants in the world and Starbucks largest distribution center – celebrates 20 years of operations, now employing more than 500 people in the community and roasting over 2 million pounds of coffee each week.

“Starbucks is deeply committed to creating pathways to opportunity for our partners (employees) and the communities we serve,” said Deverl Maserang, executive vice president of Starbucks Global Supply Chain Operations.  “Since opening our facility here in 1995, we’ve been on an incredibly rewarding journey, building a truly inspiring and diverse workplace in York. The Starbucks Inclusion Academy will help unlock new opportunities as we look to accelerate our efforts to engage individuals with disabilities who are seeking a great job in manufacturing or distribution. I could not be more proud of our first class of graduates for taking this bold step and of our entire team in York for working to bring the program to the community.”

To mark the graduation of the first Inclusion Academy class at the plant in York, a distinguished lineup of speakers will join a celebration today including: Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability; Diane Bosak, Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry; David DeNotaris, Executive Director for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation; and C. Kim Bracey, City of York Mayor.

“With more than 56 million Americans living with some form of disability, we need more companies to recognize the untapped pipeline of talent available to corporate America,” said Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability. “By collaborating on strategic initiatives like the Starbucks Inclusion Academy, NOD is taking its 30-year record of innovation to help launch effective disability employment initiatives. I applaud Starbucks for finding an innovative way to promote disability inclusion in the workplace.”

Starbucks provides the training facility and trainers for on-the-job practice at its roasting plant and distribution center in York, and is working with the Crispus Attucks Association of York, a United Way of York County Partner Agency, to provide the instructor for the soft skills training. After training Starbucks supervisors on managing individuals with disabilities, NOD helps Starbucks identify the most appropriate sourcing agencies and then works both sides of the equation—employer (demand) and sourcing agencies (supply)—to ensure that the suppliers understand Starbucks workforce needs and provide good screening, selection, training and onboarding of candidates.   

OVR refers candidates to the program, who then participate in three hours of classroom instruction and three hours of work each day for the first four weeks. During the final two weeks the candidates complete an internship at the Starbucks roasting plant and distribution center. Each class typically consists of four to ten students. The candidates also receive assistance with job interviews and local full-time or part-time job placement.

"We have tens of thousands of jobs available across Pennsylvania, including York County, but a significant shortage of workers ready with the right skills,” said Diane Bosak, Deputy Secretary for Workforce Development at the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, which oversees OVR. “It’s time for the public and private sector to come together to connect Pennsylvania’s unemployed, particularly those who have been disconnected from the economy for far too long, with the training they need to find jobs. I congratulate Starbucks for leading the way here and recognizing the importance of hiring people with disabilities.”

Starbucks Inclusion Academy program formally launched a year ago at the company’s roasting plant in Carson City, Nevada, where the company is collaborating with Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) to execute the training program. To date, 21 people have completed the program, with 12 people securing fulltime employment at Starbucks plant in Carson City, The remaining participants are in the process of interviewing for full-time and part-time roles with other manufacturing or warehousing facilities in the community. Starbucks plant in York is its second facility to adopt the program. Starbucks is continuing to evaluate ways to bring similar training opportunities to the rest of its manufacturing plants and distribution centers across the nation.

Read more about Starbucks commitment to access and disability inclusion

Photos will be posted here following today's event

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 21,000 stores around the globe, Starbucks is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit Starbucks stores or online at and

About NOD

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 79 percent of working age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to meet leading companies’ workforce needs. NOD has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands be more competitive in today’s global economy by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs. For more information about NOD and how its Bridges Advisory Services, CEO Council of Corporate Leaders and Disability Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit   

About OVR

The Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, in one central and 21 district offices across Pennsylvania, provides vocational rehabilitation services to help persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, or maintain employment. OVR provides services to eligible individuals with disabilities, both directly and through a network of approved vendors. Services are provided on an individualized basis. Services are designed to increase an individual’s independence and employability. OVR's central administrative offices in Harrisburg provide technical assistance to local district offices in order to improve service delivery.

About the Crispus Attucks Association of York

The Crispus Attucks Association of York, Pennsylvania is a comprehensive non-profit entity that provides education services, human services, community development, and affordable housing that enhance the quality of life for a diverse population. Founded in 1931, the organization takes its name from hero Crispus Attucks, a freed slave and African American who was among the first to die in the American Revolution at the Boston Massacre. Today, the Crispus Attucks Association is a multipurpose center offering a range of services for people of all ages in York, fulfilling its commitment to those in need from all backgrounds and walks of life. To learn more visit: 

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