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Mil Vet Employees at Starbucks Respond to Call for Boycott

starbucks hiring

By Debbie Gregory.

President Trump’s executive order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries prompted Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz to announce that the company would hire 10,000 refugees in the 75 countries where it does business, with the effort starting in the United States.

The announcement prompted a backlash on social media with several people using the hashtag BoycottStarbucks to urge customers to stay away from its stores. Some users also posted screenshots of them deleting the company’s app on their phones.

But veterans who work at Starbucks have something to say to those insisting the coffee company should hire veterans instead of refugees: “Check your facts, Starbucks is already there.”

Members of the Starbucks Armed Forces Network wrote, “We respect honest debate and the freedom of expression. Many of us served to protect that very right. Some of our brothers and sisters died protecting it,” in its message. “But to those who would suggest Starbucks is not committed to hiring veterans, we are here to say: check your facts, Starbucks is already there.”

Starbucks Armed Forces Network was founded in 2007 to bring partners who served in the military together to bond over their shared experiences, to provide guidance for newly hired partners transitioning from military to civilian life and to create a veteran-friendly workforce.

In 2013, Starbucks made a pledge to hire 10,000 veterans and veteran spouses by 2018. The company has hired 8,800 U.S. veterans and military spouses already as part of its pledge, and said it would reach its veteran hiring target earlier than expected and would continue hiring more.

CEO Schultz and his wife, Sheri, have visited military bases, used their personal wealth to help with plans for service members coming back from active duty, established military family stores at more than 30 bases around the country and encouraged Starbucks senior leaders to visit military bases.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Muster Assembles to Discuss Jobs For Military Veterans

muster

By Debbie Gregory.

More than 300 representatives of veteran employers attended a Starbucks’ hosted muster to discuss jobs for military veterans.

Starbucks and the Schultz Family Foundation brought participants together for their second muster, an Old English military term for the process of accounting for members of a unit, generally after a battle — to help with the transition from military service to civilian careers.

“Last time, we had about 150 people in attendance and one of the suggestions that we heard that resonated was that we need to broaden the conversation,” said Daniel Pitasky, executive director of the Schultz Family Foundation. “The idea was that each person who came to the last Muster would bring someone new to the conversation.”

The effort is a continuation of Starbucks’ commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2018.

Hiring veterans makes good business sense. Veterans have attributes that employers look for. They are leaders, committed to something greater than themselves. They understand diversity. They are able to accomplish a mission under the hardest of conditions.

Retired Army Gen. Ray Odierno said that while veterans are quick learners, they need assistance from their employers to close the military-civilian gap.

“We need the long-term civilian expertise within a company mentoring and helping veterans,” Odierno said.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who’s on the Starbucks board of directors, agreed that civilians and veterans need to get to know one another so that they can better understand each others culture.

In addition to addressing employing veterans, the subject of retention was at the top of the list.

JPMorgan Chase commissioned a study with the Center for a New American Security to survey companies about veteran retention. The results should be published around Veterans Day.

Another topic of discussion focused on employing military spouses.

Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families, said,“The very best thing you can give a transitioning veteran is a spouse with a job.”

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.