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How Starbucks is aiming to engage youth as it opens first-of-a-kind store in NY

Starbucks has put in motion its US wide plan to deepen relationships with local youth and minorities with the opening of a new store format in Queens, New York.

The store in Jamaica, Queens is the first of around 15 to open across the country in a bid to offer employment and education for young people in underserved urban communities. 

Alongside their usual offering each of the stores will also have a dedicated in-store training space where young people can receive customer service and retail skills training, based on the same training Starbucks employees receive. 

There's an estimated 5.5 million 16-24 year olds who are not in school or employed in the US. 

Rodney Hines, director of community investments for Starbucks retail operations, said: “By making a long-term investment in the form of new stores, we hope to play a meaningful role in supporting ongoing efforts to transform these vibrant communities – starting here in Jamaica – from one with a legacy of systemic barriers to opportunity, to one where young people see a pathway to lifelong success.” 

Starbucks has also partnered with two local nonprofit organizations, Queens Community House (QCH) and YMCA’s Y Roads Centers, to deliver customer service and retail skills training opportunities to their youth participants in the new store, which was designed by Starbucks Design Studio. 

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