Starbucks Canada Launches Canadian Work Placement Program for At-Risk Youth

 Starbucks Canada Launches Canadian Work Placement Program for At-Risk Youth  Starbucks Canada Joins Forces with Three Leading Not-for-Profit Organizations  to Expand Life and Work Skills Development in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto  TORONTO, June 12, 2014 /CNW/ - With youth unemployment rates at more than  double the national average(i), 16-24 year-old Canadians are facing a national  crisis and  those who struggle with additional barriers are even more at-risk  of remaining not just unemployed but unemployable.    Today, Starbucks Canada  announced it is taking steps to help Canada's most disadvantaged youth get the  skills and training they need to build better futures with the expansion of  the Starbucks Canada work-placement and barista training program.  Together with Pacific Community Resources Society (PCRS) in Vancouver; Wood's  Homes in Calgary; and Yonge Street Mission (YSM) in Toronto, Starbucks Canada  will support youth employment programs in each city, which combine in-class  core life skills and employability training with real-life on-the-job work  placement experience.   The company will invest $840,000 over the next three  years to drive this program.    In its first year, Starbucks will support 134  barriered youth - those who may be homeless, out of foster care or recovering  from addiction; may have little or no high school education, may be unable to  afford the rising costs of education; or may suffer from mental illness -with  in-store work-placements, in the hopes that upon graduation, these young  people will either find jobs or go back to school to further their education.  "For thousands of young Canadians, June marks a time for celebration as  students plan for graduation ceremonies and prepare for their future careers.   But for many of Canada's most at-risk and disadvantaged youth, there is no  graduation, no future planning and no opportunity for a career," says Luisa  Girotto, director, public affairs and community, Starbucks Canada. "Together  with three incredible organizations, we're giving the gift of hope to youth  who have struggled with difficult upbringings: hope to get off the edge of the  streets and hope for a brighter future."  Starbucks has been committed to supporting youth in Canada since it opened its  first café in Vancouver. B.C.   Over the last 27 years, Starbucks Canada has  been hiring and developing Canadian young people, with youth representing more  than 60 per cent of the company's partner (employee) base.  Since 2009,  Starbucks Canada, through the Starbucks Foundation, has awarded more than  $794,000 Starbucks Youth Leadership grants to youth organizations that equip  and engage young in business savvy, social conscience and collaborative  communication.  Today's announcement builds on Starbucks Canada's existing, decade-long work  placement relationship with PCRS and the Baristas program. The Baristas  program is a key component of the PCRS Youth Employment service, and offers  life skills and employability workshops in addition to in-store training.   Over the last 10 years, more than 350 youth have graduated from the Baristas  program in lower mainland B.C. - more than 80 per cent of whom have either  successfully gone back to school or have found employment, some hired on by  Starbucks permanently.  "Over the past decade, our relationship with Starbucks has been really  valuable to the youth we serve," says Ingrid Kastens, Executive Director of  Pacific Community Resources Society. "As such, we are thrilled to expand this  relationship.  Our work-placement relationship with Starbucks Canada supports  youth in overcoming many challenges while they gain a meaningful work  experience with a great employer.  Starbucks staff have been incredibly  supportive of young people, welcoming them into their stores and assisting  them as they transition to successful employment and contributing citizens."  Beginning late summer, Starbucks will expand its current work placement  program with PCRS to include Wood's Homes in Calgary and The Yonge Street  Mission in Toronto.  Wood's Homes, a large not?for?profit Children's Mental  Health Centre in Calgary, will offer paid Starbucks work-placement to youth  enrolled in its Culinary Arts program, which prepares at-risk or homeless  youth for employment in the culinary field. The Yonge Street Mission, a  community service agency serving thousands of Toronto's poor and vulnerable  since 1896, will offer paid Starbucks work-placements to street involved and  homeless youth through its Employment Services' Connecting Youth to Work  program.  "The goal of our youth employment program is to give vulnerable young people a  fair chance at securing meaningful jobs," says Wood's Homes Director Dean  Soenen. "We are thrilled with the opportunity to work with Starbucks Canada in  meeting this goal together. Wood's Homes believes that youth at risk of living  on the street due to a variety of challenges, deserve opportunities to build  better life and job skills. We thank Starbucks Canada for appreciating the  importance of community support - joining in our commitment to serve the  children, adolescents and families in our community."  Gail Meats, Director of Employment Services at The Yonge Street Mission, says.    "The demand from our youth to access work-placements far exceeds space. This  collaboration with Starbucks Canada will help break down the barriers for  street involved youth to gain employability skills and invaluable work  experience that will prepare them for future employment and life success."  Starbucks Canada is proud to be named Top Ideal Employer in Canada by  undergraduate students in the 2014 Universum Student Survey as well as one of  Canada's Best Workplaces by the Great Place to Work Institute for the fourth  consecutive year.  For more information, please visit www.starbucks.ca.  About Starbucks Corporation  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.  About Pacific Resources Community Society  Pacific Community Resources is an award winning, accredited, not-for-profit  society serving Lower Mainland communities since 1984.  The agency provides  alternate education, employment, addiction counselling and prevention  services, housing support, and cultural enrichment for children, youth, adults  and families. Pacific Community Resources is committed to community-based  research, advocacy, and community development to identify service gaps and  strategies to address social problems such as poverty, child abuse, mental  health, substance abuse, violence and homelessness. For more information,  please visit www.pcrs.ca  About Wood's Homes  Wood's Homes is a multi-service, nationally recognized children's mental  health centre based in Calgary.  It provides 35+ programs and services in six  locations in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. A non-profit, Wood's Homes  staff of 400 works with more than 20,000 vulnerable children, youth and  families every year from across Canada.  Founded by Reverend George Wood, the  organization is celebrating its 100(th) anniversary this year.  For more  information, please visit www.woodshomes.ca.  About The Yonge Street Mission  Since 1896, YSM has provided emergency help and fostered long-term change for  thousands of individuals and families and in the community itself. The Yonge  Street Mission has introduced many innovations in outreach, housing,  education, health care, and education. A trusted leader in our neighbourhoods,  we are also partners with numerous organizations and public agencies. For more  information, please visit www.ysm.ca  ________________________________ (i) Labour Force Survey, May 2014, Statistics  Canada    SOURCE  Starbucks Coffee Canada  Media contact: Carly Suppa, Starbucks Canada, csuppa@starbucks.com  To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL:  http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/June2014/12/c1978.html  CO: Starbucks Coffee Canada ST: Ontario NI: FBR FOD  
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