Campaign calls on private sector to make a commitment to tackle military spouse unemployment and underemployment rates
WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2018 – Starbucks is coming together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes and a national coalition of companies to launch of the Hiring 100,000 Military Spouses campaign. The three-year campaign will raise awareness of military spouse unemployment and encourage employers to make military spouse hiring commitments, ultimately resulting in a combined 100,000 military spouses hired by the end of 2021.
As the U.S. job market grows, military spouses continue to face unemployment rates four times the national average. As a result, many military families find themselves facing the tough decision to either forego two incomes or leave military service – a choice that ultimately hurts the military’s ability to retain service members with families. In a news release today, Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce called on the private sector to make military spouse employment a top priority, adding, “We are honored to partner with Starbucks, our founding coalition partners, and future partners to address the many challenges faced by military spouses as they pursue meaningful careers.”
Former Second Lady of the United States and Honorary Co-Chair of the Biden Foundation, Dr. Jill Biden, joined Hiring Our Heroes and Starbucks at an event in Washington, D.C. today to announce the Hiring 100,000 Military Spouses campaign.
“Some of the most impressive members of our military don’t wear uniforms. The wives and husbands of our military members serve too, with strength and resilience,” said Dr. Biden. “They often have to parent alone on long deployments, adapt to new communities because of frequent moves, and provide emotional support to loved ones putting their lives on the line. They deserve the opportunity to build their careers and pursue their dreams, no matter where their family is stationed. I am incredibly grateful to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation for rallying behind our military families with the launch of the Hiring 100,000 Military Spouses initiative.”
"Starbucks is proud to partner with Hiring Our Heroes and other great companies as we focus on solving employment challenges military spouses face across the country,” said Virginia Tenpenny, vice president, Global Social Impact at Starbucks and executive director of the Starbucks Foundation, who also spoke at today’s event in Washington, D.C. “Starbucks has hired more than 17,000 veterans and military spouses in the last five years. They make us a better company with their teamwork, experience, and commitment to the job. Yet, nationally, military spouses still face extra barriers to employment and career development. As a business community, we should seize the opportunity to integrate military spouses into the workforce, or risk missing out on their skills and experience.”
The campaign announced today that Amazon, Blackstone, Capital One, Comcast NBCUniversal, Hospital Corporation of America, Hilton, La Quinta Inns & Suites, Microsoft, Prudential Financial, USAA, and WWC are also joining as founding coalition partners of the Hiring 100,000 Military Spouses campaign.
In 2012, as post-9/11 veteran unemployment reached an all-time high, Hiring Our Heroes launched a similar campaign for veterans. That campaign, called the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign, witnessed more than 2,000 companies hire more than 500,000 veterans in just three years. The campaign served as a national call to action and played an important role in reducing overall veteran unemployment.
About Starbucks commitment to veterans and military spouses
Starbucks has a long-standing commitment to hiring veterans and military spouses. In 2013 the company announced a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses in five years. It met that goal early with more than 17,000 to date, and now aims to hire 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2025. The company’s commitment extends beyond hiring with plans to dedicate 100 Military Family stores near bases across the U.S. by 2022. Each store catalyzes hiring efforts through relationships with the local military base and with veterans service organizations. The stores also honor Starbucks partners and customers with design components, such as special murals, patriotic green aprons and merchandise that reflects the company’s appreciation for military service. In addition, Starbucks offers veteran and military spouse partners expanded benefits like Military Leave Pay and the opportunity to extend the Starbucks College Achievement Plan tuition reimbursement benefit to a spouse or child. The company also creates volunteer opportunities through partnerships with organizations like Team Red, White and Blue, Hiring our Heroes, and Team Rubicon.
Starbucks Armed Forces Network (AFN), which was founded in 2007, plays a key role in bringing partners who served in the military together to bond over their shared experiences, provide guidance for newly hired partners transitioning from military to civilian life and advise Starbucks on how to create a veteran-friendly workforce. AFN members were instrumental in helping the company launch its original commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses in 2013 and the group continues to partner with senior leadership to grow the company’s hiring commitments and programs.
About Hiring Our Heroes
Launched in 2011, Hiring Our Heroes is a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Hiring Our Heroes has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment through more than 1,100 job fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and on military installations overseas; a suite of free online career-based resources; and the Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign.
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