The province and one of the country’s coffee powerhouses are teaming up tomorrow to try and help hundreds of Metro Vancouver youth facing challenges crack into the job market.
No high school, no job, no direction.
That’s where Store Manager Fiona Kehler says she was 10 years ago when she connected with coffee giant Starbucks through a work skills program.
“I hadn’t graduated from high school, didn’t really have any previous job experience, I didn’t have a great adolescence, and so I was dealing with not really knowing where I was going with my life. And since this opportunity, I’ve definitely been able to turn my life something meaningful”
The company now wants to fill 10-percent of its ranks with youth like Kehler and is holding a massive job fair to kick off the drive.
Caroline Ternes, Starbucks regional vice president of operations for Western Canada says they’re targeting 16-24 year old “opportunity youth.”
“Motivated young people who have a strong desire to work but are facing various barriers to their employment and require even more support and paths to the opportunity.”
She says the company has partnered with the Ministry of Social development and has identified about 300 candidates through various social agencies – but she adds they’re hoping for up to 500, so the door is open for other youth who meet the criteria.
Kehler says she’s looking forward to giving a shot to young people who were once in her shoes.
“Everything that I’ve ever needed to know I’ve been taught by someone within the company, who’s given me the tools I need to success and become a leader now, so I can pay it forward to opportunity youth that are facing the obstacles I once faced.
The event runs from 10 am to 4pm tomorrow at the Vancouver Mariott Pinacle.
Youth will have a chance to work with espresso machines, and get a sense if barista is the kind of job they want. If so, they’ll be able to have a go at mock interviews before scheduling a real one and potentially landing a job on the spot.