Retail Excellence Training Program

“I am thrilled to see this program blossom into a life-changing opportunity for hundreds of youth across the country. This is so much more than a training program. It’s a chance for participants to gain direction, purpose and positive reinforcement – sometimes for the first time in their lives. I have seen so many young people light up with self-confidence and passion through this program. They are truly rewriting the script of their lives, and that is a huge win for them and for all of us.” 
Sheri Schultz, president of the Schultz Family Foundation 

For over 10 years, Starbucks and the Schultz Family Foundation have witnessed the unleashing of positive energy through a barista skills training program for opportunity youth - started by two Seattle non-profits - YouthCare and FareStart. Nearly 500 young adults have graduated, with 70% securing jobs in the retail and customer service sectors.

In 2014, Starbucks, the Schultz Family Foundation and YouthBuild USA launched the Retail Excellence Training Program. This national program gives YouthBuild students an opportunity to learn customer service skills - based on the same training Starbucks store partners (employees) receive - through classroom and on-the-job experience in retail or café settings. In addition to Seattle, it is now available at YouthBuild programs in Gulfport, Mississippi and Harlem, New York. Around 170 students graduated in 2014. In 2015 the program will be expanded to YouthBuild Philadelphia and YouthBuild Portland, OR.

Over the course of 8 to 10 weeks, each student completes 80 hours of technical retail and barista skills training and 80 hours in a customer-service role. Upon completion of the program the young graduates receive four semester hours, accredited by the American Council on Education, and a paycheck for their time. They also receive assistance with their job search, applications, interview preparation and placement. 

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