Starbucks to give workers a full ride for college

Want to get a college degree for free? Try getting a job at Starbucks.
Starbucks (SBUX) said Monday it will offer employees full tuition at Arizona State University’s online program, giving them the chance to earn a bachelor’s degree for free.
The coffee chain already offers its baristas two years of undergraduate tuition at ASU under its existing college achievement program. Now the company is extending that to four years for most of its workers.
Here are more details:
Who can apply: All full and part-time U.S. employees who do not already have a four-year degree. Starbucks says 70% of its workers do not have a bachelor’s degree.
Who’s not eligible: Workers at Starbucks’ “licensed stores,” such as those located inside grocery stores.
Can you leave Starbucks after graduating: Yes. Employees will have no obligation to remain at Starbucks after they graduate.
How does it work: Starbucks employees who qualify will receive a scholarship from ASU that covers 42% of the cost for each credit of course work. Starbucks will pay the remaining 58%, minus any other scholarships the employee receives.
How often will Starbucks reimburse you: Starbucks will reimburse tuition costs at the end of each semester, as opposed to the end of each year as it currently does. So, employees who drop out or leave the company will be responsible for paying tuition for that semester.
More than 140,000 out of a total of 191,000 employees are eligible for the program.
Starbucks says the tuition reimbursement program is aimed at helping its staff, particularly underprivileged young workers, afford the education they need to succeed.
Currently, there are about 2,000 Starbucks workers enrolled in ASU online courses.
“For me, working at Starbucks is the opportunity for a better future,” said Markelle Cullom, a three-year Starbucks employee enrolled in the program, according to the company’s news release.
Tuition for ASU’s online program is about $15,000 per year. The university offers 49 online bachelor’s degree programs, in subjects ranging from business administration to art history.
Over the next 10 years, Starbucks plans to spend at least $250 million to help 25,000 employees graduate.
In addition to helping employees get ahead, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said the economy will benefit from having more educated workers in the labor force.
“By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition reimbursement, we will provide them a critical tool for lifelong opportunity,” said Schultz.
The company points out there are nearly six million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 who are not working or in school. With the proper education, Starbucks says these so-called “opportunity youth” represent a “huge, untapped talent pool for American businesses.”
Schultz has been outspoken on a number of controversial social issues, including same-sex marriage and race relations.
The CEO has also cultivated a reputation for being supportive of workers’ rights at a time when low-wage workers have been agitating for higher pay and better benefits.
In addition to tuition reimbursement, Starbucks offers benefits including healthcare and 401(k) matching for both full and part-time workers.


Starbucks ends ‘Race Together’ coffee cup campaign, continues push for forums and new stores

The water got too hot for Starbucks’ ill-defined race crusade.

The java giant is pulling the plug on its controversial “Race Together” campaign, according to a company memo from CEO Howard Schultz.

Baristas were no longer to write “Race Together” on customers’ cups starting Sunday, concluding the most visible part of the company’s diversity and racial equality campaign.

The unorthodox marketing move was supposed to turn the coffee corporation’s stores into impromptu forums for racial dialogues, but even Starbucks staffers seemed confused by it.

Many said they barely had enough time to fill out orders and were never briefed about the campaign before it was launched, the Daily News reported last week.

“While there has been criticism of the initiative — and I know this hasn’t been easy for any of you — let me assure you that we didn’t expect universal praise,” Schultz said Sunday.

Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz speaks during the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting in Seattle, Washington March 18, 2015. Starbucks Corp will begin offering delivery in New York City and Seattle later this year, when it also plans to expand mobile order and pay services across the United States.

Starbucks has no plans to stop other parts of the initiative, including forums and the hiring of 10,000 employees from diverse backgrounds to man new coffee shops in disadvantaged urban areas.

The race crusade was largely panned by employees after it was launched Monday. Some baristas were reluctant to use their stickers during busy shifts, or were just uncomfortable diving into their personal opinions.

The marketing campaign’s backlash included sarcastic tweets revolving around the #RaceTogether hashtag, but the corporation’s intentions did earn support from one community leader in St. Louis, Missouri. Alderman Antonio French, who has remained vocal on ending racial tensions since the shooting death of Michael Brown, applauded the move.
Starbucks Will Stop Writing ‘Race Together’ on Coffee Cups
“The scale of the attempt alone is worth praise,” French tweeted Saturday.

Schultz maintained the campaign was designed to make sure that “the promise of the American Dream should be available to every person in this country, not just a select few.”

NOM targets Starbucks strike

NOM boycott strikes up Starbucks backers


After the National Organization for Marriage announced this week that it had  launched a boycott of gay-friendly Starbucks, the Internet exploded with support for the Seattle-based coffee chain.

The notoriously antigay NOM announced Wednesday that the group was boycotting Starbucks for the company’s support of marriage equality in Washington State. This came after NOM members quizzed Starbucks board members on the company’s marriage stance at a recent shareholder meeting (watch video below). Almost immediately, the topic of Starbucks began trending on social media, with Twitter hashtags supporting Starbucks proliferating — #LatteLove, #StarbucksBrewsLove, #Equaliventi, #LGrandeBTall, and #StarbucksEquality have all circulated.

The consumer advocacy group SumOfUs is asking people to sign a thank-you card to Starbucks for its support of LGBT equality. Over 26,000 people have signed their online card at the group’s website.

“The National Organization of Marriage is targeting Starbucks because the company recently stood up publicly to support gay marriage legislation in their home state of Washington,” reads a release from SumOfUs. “The bill’s sponsor, Democratic senator Ed Murray, explained how support from major brand-name businesses helped convince moderate legislators to vote for it. Without support from prominent companies like Starbucks, the gay marriage law might have failed. Starbucks customers are speaking loud and clear: Being for equality is good for business … NOM is soon going to have to face the truth that it’s losing the culture war it’s been waging against LGBT people.”

On NOM’s anti-Starbucks website, the group suggests alternative coffee shops for homophobes to patronize. However, many of its suggestions, including the popular West Coast chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, have either voiced support for gay rights or are actually owned by LGBT individuals.