Star­bucks to train young work­ers

New East Bal­ti­more shop part of an ini­tia­tive to reach poor com­mu­ni­ties

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Lor­raine Mirabella lor­raine.mirabella@balt­sun.com

Star­bucks will open a new cof­fee shop with a train­ing fo­cus near Johns Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal early next year, part of a larger move by the cof­fee gi­ant to of­fer jobs and train­ing to youths in poor com­mu­ni­ties around the United States.

The Star­bucks with an in-store class­room will open in the long-planned East Bal­ti­more Devel­op­ment Inc. project to trans­form 88 acres north of the hos­pi­tal into homes, of­fices and shops. The cof­fee shop will be lo­cated on Ash­land Av­enue in the Sci­ence + Tech­nol­ogy Park at Johns Hop­kins in an of­fice/ lab build­ing that was fin­ished in July and is more than 70 per­cent leased.

A Star­bucks spokes­woman said the East Bal­ti­more store will likely open in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary.

“We picked this par­tic­u­lar lo­ca­tion be­cause of the op­por­tu­nity it pro­vides to con­trib­ute to the re­vi­tal­iza­tion and devel­op­ment of the Dun­bar-Broad­way neigh­bor­hood in this part of East Bal­ti­more while pro­vid­ing an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand our busi­ness and serve cus­tomers at the nearby Johns Hop­kins Hos­pi­tal,” said Alisha Damodaran.

The Bal­ti­more shop is one of five Star­bucks an­nounced Wed­nes­day as part of the ini­tia­tive. It also plans to open sim­i­lar stores next year in Birm­ing­ham, Ala.; Long Beach, Calif.; the Miami met­ro­pol­i­tan area; and White Cen­ter in the greater Seat­tle area.

The cof­fee gi­ant opened three lo­ca­tions un­der the pro­gram this year, in Phoenix, the Ja­maica neigh­bor­hood of Queens, N.Y., and in Fer­gu­son, Mo., near the site of the 2014 po­lice shoot­ing of Michael Brown that sparked protest and ri­ot­ing. Star­bucks plans to open the fourth store Wed­nes­day on Chicago’s South Side.

The goal is to open such stores in at least 15 low-to-medium in­come com­mu­ni­ties by 2018, cre­at­ing jobs, work­ing with lo­cal, mi­nor­ity-owned con­trac­tors and sup­pli­ers, and of­fer­ing job skills train­ing for 16- to 24-year-olds who are out of work and out of school.

Star­bucks’ new con­cept fits well into one of EBDI’s goals of pro­vid­ing jobs for East Bal­ti­more res­i­dents, said Scott Le­vi­tan, di­rec­tor of devel­op­ment for For­est Ci­tyNew East Bal­ti­more Part­ner­ship, the mas­ter de­vel­oper of the East Bal­ti­more Devel­op­ment Inc.

“The [Star­bucks] store is a real leap for­ward to be able to cre­ate a pipe­line for Star­bucks to train lo­cal res­i­dents and then em­ploy those trained res­i­dents all around the re­gion in other Star­bucks stores,” Le­vi­tan said.

Devon Wil­ford-Said, a com­mu­nity ac­tivist in East Bal­ti­more and a mem­ber of the res­i­dents coun­cil of Pleas­antview Gar­dens near Old Town Mall, said the new store could ben­e­fit East Bal­ti­more res­i­dents if Star­bucks fol­lows through with hir­ing from lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties.

“That would be a good pro­gram for com­mu­nity res­i­dents to get skills,” she said. “If they hear there are jobs, they will flock to it.”

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