Starbucks wants to recruit 10,000 vets, spouses


By Lisa Baertlein

Nov 6 (Reuters) - Starbucks Corp is looking forthousands of good men - and women.

The world's biggest coffee chain said on Wednesday it wouldcommit to hiring at least 10,000 veterans and spouses of activemilitary in five years.

It also said five new and existing U.S. Starbucks cafes onor near military bases will share a portion of each sale withnon-profit organizations that help veterans re-enter theworkforce.

Many U.S. companies have committed to hiring thousands ofmilitary veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Companiescan find workers of different skill levels among veterans andcan also claim tax credits of up to $9,600 until year-end foreach hire as part of a work opportunity program.

On the same day as Starbucks, U.S. telecom giant AT&T Inc said it doubled its hiring goal for veterans to 10,000from 5,000 for the next five years as part of a commitment toequal opportunity employment.

Seattle-based Starbucks said it will have specializedrecruiters to match the unique skills of veterans and theirspouses with company jobs.

"This demographic represents one of the most underutilizedtalent pools in our country," said former U.S. Defense SecretaryRobert Gates, now a Starbucks director.

Announced ahead of the U.S. Veterans Day holiday on Nov. 11,Starbucks' new effort aims to expand and strengthen its existingmentoring program through the Armed Forces Network.

"This is not only about hiring baristas," Chief ExecutiveHoward Schultz told Reuters.

Starbucks is seeking individuals with experience ineverything from leading teams to building and managing complex,global supply chains, Schultz said.

As the company expands globally and gets coffee and tea fromaround the globe, veterans offer international experience andforeign language skills, Gates added.

"They bring an understanding of other cultures and they'reaccustomed to working with diverse and international partners,"Gates said.

Starbucks employs roughly 134,000 people in the UnitedStates, including "thousands" of veterans and their spouses. Itdid not offer a more precise breakdown.

The five revenue-sharing stores near bases will donate 10cents from every transaction, with a minimum annual gift of$100,000. The first two will be in San Antonio, Texas, andLakewood, Washington. Donations from the stores will benefitGoodwill Industries International Inc programs Operation GoodJobs, in San Antonio, and Vested in Vets, in Lakewood.


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