In 2019, Starbucks Coffee Korea hosted more than 2,600 students from 76 vocational schools across South Korea for career-development training at Opportunity Fairs in April and December. For five years, Starbucks has worked with Junior Achievement Korea to help more than 15,000 students develop and strengthen the skills needed for employment opportunities. As a result, Starbucks has hired more than 115 participants, and supported many more in establishing their careers.
A former participant turned Starbucks partner (employee), Soyoung Chang volunteered to support students like her at the Opportunity Fair last year. “It was nice to have a comfortable atmosphere so I could be myself and spend time with other people my age going through a similar period of uncertainty. I loved the coffee experience with Starbucks partners, and that made me want to work in the coffee industry,” said Soyoung. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to share my experience with students who have no background in the field. I’m sure this will be a valuable experience for both the students and partners.”
One of this year’s participants was Dongyeon Nam, a student from Seoul Convention High School. “The process of preparing for job opportunities is not easy. I felt a lot of pressure doing it on my own,” he said. “I really enjoyed being here today with my friends. This experience was helpful because I was able to learn the right skills to help me prepare for a job. I hope there will be more events like this for students like us, who have to prepare to get a job right after graduation.”
Starbucks has been recognized across South Korea for its efforts to engage opportunity youth with this unique program. Last month, Seoul City granted Starbucks the Corporate CSR Award at the Seoul CSR Awards 2019, with special mention for its partnership with Junior Achievement.
Since Starbucks opened its first store in South Korea in 1999, Starbucks Coffee Korea has grown rapidly to become Starbucks fifth largest international market today. More than 17,000 partners share their passion for coffee and its culture with 320,000 customers daily across more than 1,300 stores and 76 cities nationwide.