Top U.S. Companies Bring Hiring Effort to Phoenix

The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a coalition of 33 leading U.S. companies, will host its next Opportunity Hiring Fair in Phoenix on Oct. 30, launching a long-term effort to bring job opportunities to thousands of underserved youth across Maricopa County

This event will build on the unprecedented impact from the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative’s launch last month in Chicago with more than 4,000 participants, over 40 community organizations, and more than 800 job offers to date

Four more companies join the national initiative to create pathways to employment for young Americans, including Papa John’s, Republic Services, TOMS and VILLA

PHOENIX (September 17, 2015) – Following an unprecedented day of impact at the nation’s first Opportunity Fair & Forum in Chicago on Aug. 13, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative today announced that it will bring its next Opportunity Fair to Phoenix on Oct. 30 as it continues to accelerate its nationwide effort to hire America’s opportunity youth – 16-24 year olds who are not in school or employed, an estimated 5.6 million people in the U.S. The coalition, now composed of 33 leading U.S. companies including new members Papa John’s, Republic Services, TOMS and VILLA expects to hire hundreds of young people in Phoenix next month, building on the hiring effort it launched in Chicago earlier this summer with over 4,000 young Chicagoans, 800 of whom have already received job offers.

“Chicago marked an important milestone in our efforts to put America’s underserved youth on a pathway to employment,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks and co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation. “As we look ahead to Phoenix, where one in five youth is not in school or employed, we have a critical opportunity to accelerate our collective hiring efforts and create meaningful lifelong opportunities for all. I truly believe that these young men and women represent the most significant untapped source of productivity and talent for our economy, and America’s leading companies are ready to hire them.”

“The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is playing a vital role in connecting young people with meaningful jobs. As we saw in Chicago, the Fair gave young people the chance to meet and interview with recruiters from a wide array of companies, including CVS Health, and in turn, provided the participating employers with the opportunity to engage with incredibly smart, energetic and talented individuals,” said Larry Merlo, President and CEO, of CVS Health. “We know that today’s young people are the business leaders of tomorrow, and as we prepare for the Phoenix Hiring Fair, we are even more committed to introducing youth to careers in pharmacy and health care, and arming them with the tools they’ll need to succeed in their careers and in life.”

“We are proud to join with other great American brands to broaden opportunity for young men and women and provide access to the training, skills development and experience needed to build a strong workforce and growing economy,” said Alex Gourlay, President of Walgreens. “For more than a century, Walgreens has grown its business on a tradition of recruiting young talent and building professional career paths that can take them to the company’s highest ranks.”

An Urgent Call to Action in Phoenix

Nationally, one in seven young adults does not work or attend school; however in Phoenix, and across Maricopa County, that statistic is closer to one in five – the highest rate of youth disengagement among the largest 25 cities in America. According to a study by Measure of America, unemployment in Phoenix for this age group is 20%, with only 55% enrolled in school, the lowest of any of the twenty-five metro areas. There is also a disproportionally higher rate of disconnection in African American (28%); American Indian (28%) and Hispanic (23%) populations in Maricopa County.

“Phoenix is a strong indicator for the larger crisis facing our nation when it comes to engaging opportunity youth,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. “While the statistics are sobering, our city is seeing a small but powerful groundswell of civic, community and elected leaders that are working hard to give youth in Phoenix the type of meaningful job and educational opportunities they deserve. The business leadership driving the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative will help take our city’s efforts to even greater heights and bring more attention to the magnitude of this issue and its impact on the rest of the country.”

"The issue of disconnected youth is a regional challenge and Maricopa County Workforce Connections stands ready to help young people find a job or go back to school," said Steve Chucri, chairman of the Board of Supervisors. "This partnership with businesses is a logical next step as we find solutions. The county is proud to be a partner in the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative."

In Phoenix, the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, which has the goal of forming the nation’s largest employer-led coalition committed to hiring at least 100,000 opportunity youth by 2018, will work with community-based organizations and civic leaders over the next three years including the City of Phoenix, Maricopa County, Opportunities for Youth Board, Maricopa Community College, and Arizona State University to help deliver the skills training and hiring opportunities young people need.

“The jobs of the future will require more education and more training. Everyone will need some sort of post-secondary education to succeed,” said Dr. Michael Crow, President, Arizona State University. “We must raise the level of learning that our young people reach, or the jobs will go unfilled, the next generation’s potential will be diminished and the economy handicapped. This initiative helps put disengaged youth back on a path where they can advance, learn skills and reach a higher level of education and training. It is an effort squarely in line with ASU’s mission to expand access to education and take responsibility for the community around us.”

Over 20 participating companies, in collaboration with community-based organizations from across Maricopa County, expect to collectively engage hundreds of youth at the hiring fair in Phoenix next month. This event will feature informative, inspirational and interactive experiences for youth including workshops, on-the-spot mentoring and feedback, college counseling, skills development, and more. This will spur long-term engagement, which will help participating companies hire thousands of more youth in the Phoenix area over the next 18 months – delivering an unprecedented impact to the young people and businesses in the area.

Building the Nation’s Largest Employer-Led Initiative for Opportunity Youth

The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative today welcomed four new corporate partners including Papa John’s, Republic Services, TOMS, and VILLA bringing total corporate participation to 33 companies, including: Alaska Airlines, Chipotle Mexico Grill, Cintas, CVS Health, Dominos, FedEx, Hilton Worldwide, HMSHost, Hyatt, JCPenney, JPMorgan Chase, Lyft, Macy’s, Mars, Microsoft, Nordstrom, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut,, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, Prudential, Red Robin, Republic Services, Starbucks, Sweetgreen, Taco Bell, Target, T-Mobile, Teavana, TOMS, VILLA, Walgreens and Walmart.

“TOMS gives in more than 70 countries, including the U.S., and we’re always excited to have the opportunity to serve communities in need at home,” said Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver at TOMS. “Through the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative TOMS will be creating opportunities for youth at our five retail stores across the country. We’re anxious for the fresh perspectives that these youth will bring to TOMS in the short run and the inspiration that may provide for them to start their own socially-conscious companies in the future.”

“Papa John’s is thrilled to join the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative. Over the years, we’ve had countless young people join our team. For some, Papa John’s helped support them through school, for others, it’s been a place where they’ve built careers. Meaningful work benefits everyone,” said Steve Ritchie, President and COO of Papa John’s. “As someone who started out as a delivery driver over 20 years ago, nothing makes me prouder than to help build future generations of American leadership.”

“As a leader in the recycling and waste industry, it is of the utmost importance to us to ensure that the future talent pipeline is constantly replenished and committed to helping us all be better stewards of our planet,” said Don Slager, president & CEO of Republic Services, Inc. “Today’s youth appreciate the need for responsible, sustainable practices, and we couldn’t be more honored to join the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative to introduce them to long-term career opportunities that keep our communities and environment safe and clean.”

“Today’s youth are tomorrow’s leaders. As the leading urban fashion retailer in the country, VILLA is committed to helping young people in urban America dream big and achieve their big dreams,” said Jason Lutz, CEO of VILLA. “VILLA proudly supports young fashion designers, offers college scholarships, and hires directly from the communities we serve. We are excited to join the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative and ensure that every young person has an opportunity to reach his/her full potential.”

Funders participating in the initiative include: Accenture (in kind), Domino’s, FedEx, Joyce Foundation, JPMorgan Chase Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, Prudential, The Rockefeller Foundation, Schultz Family Foundation, Starbucks, Walmart Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

Leadership and Commitment to Hiring Opportunity Youth

The Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions acts as an intermediary for the initiative in the hiring cities, building upon the existing work of its national Opportunity Youth Incentive Fund (OYIF). The OYIF currently supports collaborative efforts focused on Opportunity Youth in 21 communities around the country. The Aspen Institute provides direct leadership, technical assistance, and programmatic support to the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative in Chicago, Phoenix and future cities.

Papa John’s: Commitment to Hiring Opportunity Youth

Over the years, Papa John’s has enabled thousands of team members rise through our ranks to become general managers, franchise owners, and executive leaders, and most importantly provided them opportunities to pursue their life’s passion. Last year Papa John’s hired over 14,000 young men and women and will continue our commitment to providing young people the opportunity to build fulfilling careers and lives. As part of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, Papa John’s is committed to hire at least 250 young people in the Phoenix market across its corporate and franchise operated stores.

Republic Services: Commitment to Hiring Opportunity Youth

Republic Services is a leader in the recycling and non-hazardous solid waste business with 32,000 employees across the United States. Every day, we strive to make the world and our planet better. We work together to provide reliable and responsible recycling and waste disposal services that have a positive impact on the homes, communities, and businesses of our 14 million customers. They count on us to provide a superior experience today and a sustainability commitment for future generations being able to enjoy a cleaner, safer and healthier world. Republic has a lot to offer young people who are looking to be part of a collaborative team in environmental services. Our career opportunities are extensive, and our employees can move from entry level positions into roles driving or maintaining our sophisticated fleet, working in oilfields or landfills, focusing on recycling, providing support functions to the business. They also have chances to move into leadership training programs and become the future leaders of our organization. We offer meaningful work and career opportunities that allow people to be passionate about their jobs and improve the world we live in while also earning a quality living.

VILLA: Commitment to Hiring Opportunity Youth

VILLA is the premier fashion retailer with over 120 stores throughout 10 states. Our Join The Movement initiative focuses on revitalizing urban communities where we operate by developing, supporting, and delivering opportunities for teens focusing on the 3E’s—Educational Support, Economic Empowerment, and Environmental Improvement. Since our inception over 25 years ago, we have been committed to hiring young men and women directly from the neighborhoods where our stores operate. Our store managers and sales experts are trained to be excellent managers as well as community leaders. Moreover, we create opportunities for professional development through employment training and hiring opportunities for teens, annual professional development symposiums, internal and external scholarship programs, and internal mentoring programs.

About the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative

The 100,000 Opportunities Initiative has the goal of creating the nation’s largest employer-led private sector coalition committed to creating pathways to employment for young people. Companies engaged in the coalition will help to launch careers for young people that are just entering the workforce, including internships, apprenticeships and on the job training, in addition to developing potential in youth that have some work experience but are looking to gain new skills that lead to a successful career. For more information, please visit

For a complete list of participating companies, community service organizations, funders and participants, please visit Media interested in attending the event in Phoenix must pre-register for credentials by contacting [email protected].

thumbnail for Siren Craft System – elevating the Starbucks experience for our partners and customers  

Siren Craft System – elevating the Starbucks experience for our partners and customers