The Starbucks York Roasting Plant and Distribution Center in York, Pennsylvania, has been selected as the recipient of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s annual Governor’s Award. The facility was chosen for the honor by the department’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Starbucks is being recognized for its Inclusion Academy. The six-week on-the-job program to help individuals with disabilities gain meaningful work experience in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution roles was introduced at the Starbucks Carson Valley Roasting Plant and Distribution Center in Nevada.
The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) partnered with Starbucks, the National Organization on Disability and the Crispus Attucks Association of York, to bring the program to York. The program has produced quarterly graduating classes at York since its first set of grads were honored last fall at a ceremony commemorating the roasting plant and distribution center’s 20th anniversary.
“The Starbucks York Roasting Plant’s commitment to ensuring diversity and inclusion by creating training and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and Starbucks belief in the potential of individuals with disabilities were key factors in selecting them as the Governor Award recipient,” said David J. De Notaris, OVR's executive director. “All of us at OVR commend the dedication and efforts of the Starbucks York Roasting Plant to advance the careers of the talented individuals served by our agency.”
The Inclusion Academy is as rewarding experience for established partners as it is for enrollees, according to Donna Johnson, manager of Partner Resources at York.
“Every trainer for Inclusion Academy trainees says it’s a life-changing experience,” Johnson said. “When we first started, we didn’t have many volunteers, but now so many partners want to be trainers. They just embrace the folks coming out of the academy.”
Caleb Grothey, a seven-and-a-half-year partner who served as a trainer for the first and third Inclusion Academy classes, found the experience enriching personally and professionally.
“It’s helped me to see that, if you put your mind and heart to something, you can do anything you want,” Grothey said.
Grothey said he’d love to continue to be an Inclusion Academy trainer, but he’ll have to wait. Plant learning specialist Justine Ann Hughes said so many others have expressed an interest that repeat volunteers like Grothey will have to stand back and let others take their turns.
The Governor’s Award will be presented May 18 at a luncheon at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
Starbucks Commitment to Access and Disability Inclusion
Creating a culture of belonging is a core value that makes Starbucks a unique place for our partners (employees) and customers around the globe. It is not only a business imperative, but it is our global social responsibility to create a coffeehouse experience where everyone is welcome, respected and valued in an environment that is accessible for all.