Starbucks Canada commits 10 % of all store hires to Opportunity Youth

MONTRÉAL, Nov. 12, 2015 /CNW/ - Today, Starbucks Canada announced in partnership with  the Société de développement social de Ville-Marie (SDSVM) and of Montréal City Mayor, Mr. Denis Coderre, the establishment of a hiring commitment that will help tackle unemployment and subsequenly prevent homelessness amongst Opportunity Youth in Montréal.

As one of the country's leading employers for young people, the company is taking a leadership position by committing 10 % of its store hires to Opportunity Youth, which are young people ages 16-24 who are not working and are not going to school. These are motivated young people who have a strong desire to work, but are facing various systemic barriers to employment and require even more support in finding pathways to opportunity. The program will generate in excess of 180 jobs for Opportunity Youth in Montréal over the next three years.

At the same time, Starbucks is continuing its long-term commitment to providing non-work-ready youth with the tools necessary to achieve gainful employment by introducing a work placement program. Combined, these programs will generate 330 jobs and work placements over the next three years.

Youth unemployment and lack of job security pose a significant threat to the social and economic wellbeing of Canada's future. In Montréal, the youth unemployment rate (15.7 %) is almost double the adult average (8.2 %). Starbucks is committed to having a positive impact on this issue by offering meaningful employment opportunities with a focus on Opportunity Youth. These youth represent a vital and untapped resource of talent that have the potential to contribute to the success of business.

"At Starbucks we believe that everyone who wants a job should have a job." says Nash Abdrabo, Regional Director Operations, Québec, Starbucks Canada. "Every business has a role to play in creating opportunities to help Canadian youth succeed in today's economy and we are pleased to have developed ground-breaking partnerships that allow us to provide real solutions. By supporting these young people we will create real pathways to opportunity for them while driving our business forward and strengthening the communities we serve."

Beyond employment and work readiness, further opportunities are created by providing part-time employees with "full time" benefits. Partners (employees) who work a minimum of 20 hours a week receive medical and dental benefits, tuition reimbursements, stocks, future savings along with career and personal support services. With 73 % of its store partners under the age of 24, Starbucks is committed to offering employment conditions that provide young people with the early support they need to be successful.

In Montréal, Starbucks partner for implementing these programs will be the SDSVM. The Société is the first social broker in North America. As such, it acts as an intermediary between the business world and the community for carrying out concrete projects, like Starbucks program. Since being founded in 2008, the SDSVM, with assistance from its partner companies, has funded over 150,000 hours for social reintegration of people into the workplace and has collected over $3 million in financial and in-kind donations.

"We are very pleased to work with Starbucks in implementing their youth employment programs in Montréal. Young people are among the populations most affected by social exclusion, and employment continues to be an undeniable means of re-integration for them. As a partner of the City of Montréal, the SDSVM has the objective of generating 175 employment contracts per year for people who wish to reintegrate the workplace. Through this partnership with Starbucks, we will fill between 50 and 75 contracts in Starbucks Montréal cafés each year" stated Ms. Oona Stock, Chair of the SDSVM's Board of Directors.

Through its project, Starbucks enables disadvantaged young people to acquire their first meaningful work experience that can lead to a steady employment opportunity. As the project manager, the SDSVM will ensure that a maximum number of re-integration organizations can take part in the program in order for their candidates all across the Island to benefit from it. This partnership will allow the SDSVM to act beforehand and prevent homelessness amongst at risk youth. By steering them away from the path of instability through employment that will help them play an active role in society, the SDSVM offers an alternative to homelessness, in accordance with one of the four pillars of Montréal's homelessness action plan.

"As in all large urban centres, Montreal faces social problems with multiple causes. The fight against homelessness is a priority for me. It is a complex problem which demands innovative solutions and we are all working together to find them," said Montreal mayor, Mr. Denis Coderre. "One of the best ways to prevent homelessness is to have a stable job. With respect to homelessness issues, prevention is better than cure. That is why I give my 100% support to the innovative project from Starbucks and the Société de développement social de Ville-Marie," concluded the mayor.

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company 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 us in our stores or online at www.starbucks.ca and the Starbucks Newsroom at www.news.starbucks.com.

About Société de développement social de Ville-Marie (SDSVM)

Since 2008, the SDSVM has been acting as the first social stockbroker in North America. By creating the connection between private companies and NPOs, it establishes quantifiable, concrete projects that help combat poverty and homelessness. 

SOURCE Starbucks Coffee Canada

For further information: or Interview Requests Please Contact: Pascale Gagnon, Senior Consultant, TACT Intelligence-conseil, pgagnon@tactconseil.ca, 514 346-3376; Catherine Maurice, Press Secretary, Office of the Mayor and Executive Committee of Montréal, 514-346-7598; Madeleine Löwenborg-Frick, Senior Manager, Communications, Starbucks Canada, mlowenbo@starbucks.com

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