According to figures used by Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz, more than 1 million transitioning vets and 500,000 military spouses need our help.
Those are daunting figures, which is why, in November 2013, Starbucks announced a commitment to hire at least 10,000 transitioning veterans and military spouses.
As of this Memorial Day, they're more than a third of the way there with the program, with over 3,700 hired to date for what Starbucks hopes, in Schultz's words, "will be long-term careers at Starbucks as they return home."
According to Schultz, this fits shareholder value because it fits Starbucks' organizational value:
"The value we are creating for shareholders is tied to the values that guide us as an organization. As I look at the opportunity ahead of us, we're going to need to hire men and women with like-minded values and the right job skills in order to continue our current levels of growth," and he feels he will find these in veterans and military spouses in spades, because, with their "diverse background and experience, [they] share our mission-driven sensibility and work ethic."
Interestingly, Starbucks is doing more than simply hiring these veterans and military spouses. It is also building community for military veterans and families through its concept of 12 (ultimately at least 18) Starbucks "Military Family Stores," special stores close to military bases (the first two being near Camp Pendleton in San Diego and Hill Air Force Base just north of Salt Lake City), that coordinate hiring efforts for veterans not solely for Starbucks but in coordination with local social services organizations and other nonprofit partners to find opportunities outside of Starbucks as well.