Just in time for Veterans Day, Starbucks is showing just how much they appreciate the service and sacrifice of veterans by offering a new perk that will help alleviate the cost of college tuition for veteran employees and their families.
On Monday, the Seattle-based coffee company announced that in addition to its already existing tuition-free program that’s offered to employees, it will extend the educational benefit to a spouse or child of current or former members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Starbucks College Achievement Plan is done in partnership with Arizona State University where employees are able to earn a bachelor’s degree with up to 100% tuition coverage. Currently, ASU has nearly 4,200 veterans and 1,000 military family members enrolled at the university.
“We have a responsibility as a nation to honor our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice, but it goes beyond saying thank you–we must put our thanks into action and collectively help those who are making the transition from military to civilian life,” said Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz in a statement. “Not only do we have a moral duty to engage veterans once they leave the service, we know that doing so in a meaningful way will ultimately strengthen our nation.”
Further proving their commitment to help military families transition to civilian life, Starbucks has made a goal to employ at least 10,000 veterans by 2018. To help reach this goal, they’ve hired four military recruiters in key cities including Seattle, Washington, D.C., and Austin and they’ve established more than 80 connections with military bases across the country and overseas. They’ve also attended more than 200 military hiring fairs across the nation and expanded their Starbucks Armed Forces Network from one regional chapter to 12, providing opportunities for veterans to connect and create mentoring relationships. So far, the efforts of the company have paid off as they have surpassed the half-way mark of their commitment and hired more than 5,500 veterans and military spouses.