Starbucks pledges to hire 2,500 refugees in eight markets

On World Refugee Day, the company said it will hire 2,500 refugees by over five years to work in eight European markets: Great Britain, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands.

Starbucks plans to hire 2,500 refugees to work at its coffeeshops in Europe, part of the coffee chain’s commitment to hiring 10,000 refugees worldwide over the next five years.

The company said Tuesday — World Refugee Day — it would hire 2,500 refugees by 2022 to work in eight European markets: Great Britain, France, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Germany and the Netherlands.

It will partner with International Rescue and other local non-governmental organizations to match refugees with jobs.

The company had earlier said it would hire at least 1,000 refugees over the next five years in Canada.

The hiring plans are part of a commitment then-CEO Howard Schultz made in January, after President Donald Trump had signed an executive order suspending U.S. entry of all refugees for 120 days and barring Syrian refugees indefinitely. (Schultz stepped down from the CEO position in April. He remains executive chairman of the company.)

Schultz’s announcement drew support as well as backlash. Some blasted the company for focusing on hiring refugees rather than U.S. veterans — though Starbucks has had in place since 2013 a commitment to hiring 10,000 U.S. veterans and military spouses. The company said in March that it has met that goal, and set a new goal of hiring 25,000 veterans and military spouses by 2025.

In the U.S., meanwhile, Starbucks is focusing its hiring of refugees on those who have worked as translators or support people for U.S. armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s…

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