Starbucks Vietnam to Support Training for Disadvantaged Youth

Starbucks extends commitment to creating opportunities and employment in communities around the world

HANOI; Dec 5, 2016 — Starbucks Vietnam and The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit international development organization, today announced a one-year vocational training program in Hanoi to prepare young people from disadvantaged backgrounds for careers in Vietnam’s fast-growing food and beverage industry. The Starbucks Vocational Training program will engage 50 youth between the ages of 18 and 24, including those who have been affected by family violence, human trafficking, and poverty, in a training program where they will acquire the professional and life skills required to succeed in the retail sector. 

As part of the program, youth will receive both classroom instruction focused on subjects such as customer service, English language learning, financial literacy, and work readiness, as well as on-the-job training. Starbucks partners (employees) will actively engage in the program, providing seminars and in store experience. Upon completion of the program, youth will receive six months of follow-up assistance to help them secure full-time employment. 

“Being an active part of the communities we serve in is intrinsic to who we are as a company,” said Mark Ring, president of Starbucks Asia Pacific. “As Starbucks continues to grow in Vietnam and across Asia, so too does our aspiration to build a different kind of company – one committed to performance that is driven through the lens of humanity – and being a positive force in building the future success of young people.”
“We are proud to partner with The Asia Foundation and REACH to provide lifelong experiences and skills for disadvantaged young people,” said Patricia Marques, general manager for Starbucks Vietnam.

Figures from the General Statistics Office in 2015 indicate that the unemployment rate among youth is more than triple the overall unemployment rate, standing at 6.75%. While well-educated workers are able to access expanding opportunities in the private sector, for less educated workers, and particularly those from rural areas, it is much more challenging due to their lack of education, skills and business connections. This leaves them with fewer options and makes them more vulnerable to exploitation. 
“The gap between supply and demand in Vietnam’s fast-growing industries is an opportunity to provide disadvantaged youth with market-driven, practical vocational training. And by providing employers with skilled young people, we are proud to partner with Starbucks Vietnam to contribute to the development of a workforce that can help to meet the demands of Vietnam’s rapidly changing economy, while empowering some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities,” said Dinh Thi Kieu Nhung, The Asia Foundation’s project manager. 

Starbucks Vietnam and The Asia Foundation will implement this program in partnership with REACH, a local non-governmental organization specializing in providing vocational training, career advice, and job placement to some of Vietnam’s most disadvantaged youth. Funding for the project is supported by The Starbucks Foundation.

About The Starbucks Foundation

Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation believes in creating pathways to lifelong opportunities for underserved young people and developing social consciousness through community service to create a purpose driven workforce. The Foundation is proud to partner with organizations that are providing the training and experiences needed to help young people become job ready. The Starbucks Foundation gave $6.9 million to 128 nonprofit organizations in 2015. The Starbucks Foundation also supports employee engagement in their local community. Coming together in service represents a fundamental act of citizenship for individuals, businesses and community members to create a stronger, more cohesive society.

About The Asia Foundation

The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, DC. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, the Foundation’s work across Asia addresses five overarching goals—strengthening governance, empowering women, expanding economic opportunity, increasing environmental resilience, and promoting regional cooperation. The Foundation receives funding from a diverse group of bilateral and multilateral development agencies, foundations, corporations, and individuals. In 2015, it provided more than $95 million in direct program support and distributed textbooks and other educational materials valued at over $10 million. 


Established in 2008, REACH is a local nonprofit organization that specializes in providing vocational training, career advice and job placement for Vietnam’s most disadvantaged youth. REACH provides practical training in areas including hospitality, tourism, hairdressing, nail art, sales, marketing, and web and graphic design across its centers in Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An, and Hai Duong. To date, REACH has trained over 6,000 youth with a very committed staff. Over 80 percent of its students have been placed in a stable employment post-graduation in the services sector such as bartending, sales, and web design.

thumbnail for Contributing positively to our communities across Asia Pacific during Global Month of Good

Contributing positively to our communities across Asia Pacific during Global Month of Good