At Starbucks, when the boss talks about giving young workers an opportunity, he means, “Go to college; I’ll pay for it.” Starbucks today announced that it will invest up to $250 million through 2025 to pay for up to 25,000 employees at company-owned stores getting full bachelor’s degrees through Arizona State University’s online degree program.
Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks, said tuition reimbursement is one way the company can continue to invest in its workforce in a way that aligns with their mission.
“Everyone deserves a chance at the American dream,” Mr. Schultz said in a press release. “The unfortunate reality is that too many Americans can no longer afford a college degree, particularly disadvantaged young people, and others are saddled with burdensome education debt. By giving our partners access to four years of full tuition coverage, we will provide them a critical tool for lifelong opportunity. We’re stronger as a nation when everyone is afforded a pathway to success” [Samantha Laine, “Barista to College Grad? Starbucks Now Covers 4 Years of College Tuition,” Christian Science Monitor, 2015.04.07].
The same South Dakota Governor and legislators who think “opportunity” means “lower wages for kids” couldn’t work up the guts to support a simple tuition freeze for those kids once they enter college.
But hey! Sioux Falls Has Jobs™, right, Mayor Huether? And we’ll spend tax dollars to advertise that fact, because we don’t want workers to miss out on opportunities!