Starbucks to hire 10,000 veterans, military spouses

SEATTLE - Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz announced his company's plan Wednesday to hire 10,000 veterans and active duty spouses over the next five years in response to record growth and in anticipation of a 500,000-person future global workforce.

A 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, a company news release says.

He says the annoucement is a grassroots idea from Starbucks employees. "They really came up with the idea from the bottom up of the organization that Starbucks needs to do more for returning veterans," Shultz said.

About 1 million veterns are coming home over the next few years, but the economy is not prepared to receive them with leadership jobs, Shultz said.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who sits on Starbucks Board of Directors, endorses the plan. "Hiring these extraordinary Americans and having them enhance the Company's culture is in the best interest of Starbucks and its shareholders," he said.

The jobs include positions in Starbucks coffee shops, production warehouses and at the Company's headquarters in Seattle.

"Starbucks is the perfect fit for people who are looking for that family they had in the military," said Veteran and Starbucks Employee, Salina Dayton.

Schultz also announced five community stores over five years in U.S. joint base locations to help fund local nonprofit programs that support veterans as they re-enter the workforce. One of the locations is Lakewood, Wash.