BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new business model for Starbucks. The coffee giant is taking demand for its popular cup of Joe, and pumping resources back into communities some wouldn’t expect.
On the front steps of Johns Hopkins, something new is brewing. A Starbucks will soon set up shop on Ashland Avenue, with a purpose to train and hopefully hire young people between the ages of 16 and 24.
According to the Census Bureau, about 50 percent of the people in that age group in Baltimore don’t have a job.
East Baltimore has seen significant improvement over the years, but even in the shadows of a prestigious institution like Johns Hopkins, there are segments of the population that still need work.
Ernest Dorsey, with the Mayor’s Office of Employment Development, says this program will change lives.
“That gives them an opportunity to say, ‘You know what, I could do something. And there are employers out there who are willing to give me an opportunity, willing to give me a chance,'” said Dorsey.
With 24,000 stores worldwide, Starbucks is already testing the model in Queens, Chicago, Phoenix, Ferguson — and come 2017 — East Baltimore.
“It’s going to be exciting for you to see this. When you walk into that store, what you will see is a space that’s been designed to help train young people from the local community,” said Rodney Hines, director for community investments for Starbucks.
For local residents, the hope is this program will be here to stay.
“And then it’s up to the kids to want to put in their effort to try to go and get the jobs, too,” said Dwayne Lee, East Baltimore.
The new store will come in January or February. Starbucks hopes it will be a true community space that will create opportunities for disenfranchised youth.
Starbucks will also be partnering with a local nonprofit that can use the new store to train others — even if they don’t work with the company.