Starbucks plans to open a store in West Seattle’s White Center next year as part of the company’s nationwide initiative supporting economic development in low- to medium-income communities.
The stores provide a job-skills training program for youths – with an emphasis on connecting 16-to-24-year-olds, who are out of work and school, to jobs. The initiative also involves investments in local minority-owned contractors and suppliers, according to the company.
White Center is a predominantly minority neighborhood in unincorporated King County just south of Seattle. When Seattle officials earlier this year said they are considering annexing the area, they noted that according to 2011 figures, 25 percent of residents lived below the poverty line and 47 percent spoke a language other than English at home.
Starbucks is opening its fourth such store, in Englewood in the South Side of Chicago, on Wednesday. Other locations to date in the program are in Ferguson, Missouri; Phoenix, and the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens in New York City.
The coffee giant plans to open five more such stores next year. In addition to White Center, where the store will likely open around mid-2017, the other locations will be in Baltimore; Birmingham, Alabama; Long Beach, California; and Miami.
The goal is to open such stores in at least 15 cities by the end of 2018.
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