In 2011, Howard Schultz (who turned a little Seattle coffee house called Starbucks into a business behemoth) visited West Point to talk to cadets. He came away struck by the competence, humility, and cooperative spirit of the future Army officers. He and his wife Sheri starting visiting military bases and medical centers, and learned that many soldiers were more concerned about the prospect of finding a job after the end of their military service than they were about deploying to war zones. Having built a company with 238,000 employees, work was a subject Schultz knew something about.
In 2014 he announced that he would donate $30 million to create a special job-training program for veterans. Through a mix of detailed career assessments, multi-week skill training, and job-search assistance, the new initiative plans to help 8,000 vets launch good careers every year, at a cost of between $1,600 per job placement for those who go through full training to $500 per placement for those placed directly into jobs. By the end of 2016, the program was up and running in nine regions of the U.S., offering four broad job tracks and 20 training pathways, with more expansion to come.
- Thomas Meyer, Uniform Champions: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Excellent Assistance for Veterans (Philanthropy Roundtable, 2017)