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Starbucks Vietnam and Asia Foundation Extend Vocational Training for Disadvantaged Youth Project
Starbucks extends its commitment to creating pathways to opportunities and employment in communities around the world.

Hanoi, July 24, 2017 — Starbucks Vietnam and The Asia Foundation, a nonprofit international development organization, today announced the extension of a vocational training partnership for an additional year. Launched in 2016, the project is designed to prepare young people from disadvantaged backgrounds for careers in Vietnam’s fast-growing food and beverage industry. The next phase of the Starbucks Vocational Training program will engage 60 youth between the ages of 18 and 29, including those who have been affected by family violence, human trafficking, and poverty.

The unemployment rate among Vietnamese youth is more than triple the overall 6.75%, unemployment rate, according to Vietnam’s General Statistics Office figures from 2015. While well-educated workers can access growing opportunities in the private sector, for less educated workers, and particularly those from rural areas, the lack of education, skills, and networks leaves many with limited work options and vulnerable to exploitation.

Program participants will receive both classroom instruction focused on topics such as customer service, English language learning, and financial literacy, as well as on-the-job training. Starbucks partners (employees) will actively engage in the program providing seminars and share their in-store experiences. Upon completion of the program, the trainees will receive follow-up assistance for six months to help them secure full-time employment.

Starbucks is proud to continue its partnership with The Asia Foundation to support youth in Vietnam. I’m delighted that the first wave which completed the program has been successful in finding jobs, and our renewed commitment to the vocational training program will provide opportunities for more young people to gain meaningful employment,” said Mark Ring, president of Starbucks Asia Pacific. “As Starbucks continues to grow in Vietnam and Asia, so too does our commitment to being a positive force in building the success of young people.

   It is an incredible opportunity full of happiness and pride that we hand this grant to the Asia Foundation, together with REACH for this second time of skills’ development and job preparedness to this group of young Vietnamese.  We are thrilled to be involved with such a meaningful program, said Patricia Marques, General Manager of Starbucks Vietnam.

“We are pleased to contribute to the future of marginalized youth in Vietnam,” said Ms. Dinh Thi Kieu Nhung, The Asia Foundation’s project manager. “I am very impressed with trainees, including a young man facing severe difficulties in his family environment and working an unpredictable job as a seasonal worker; today, he’s completed three months of training and secured a quality job.” She continued: “Without a practical training program, young Vietnamese will continue to have limited job options, apart from working in the agricultural or informal sectors—trading on the street or performing low-wage manual work—without the protection of proper labor contracts, health insurance, or protection under the Labor Law.”

The initial program provided vocational training, career advice, and job placement services to 50 vulnerable, marginalized youth ages 18-24 in Vietnam. In November 2016, the first cohort of 19 trainees supported under this grant attended classes on food and beverage production. They completed the program in March 2017, and 17 of them (almost 90%) secured employment with cruise-liners in Quang Ninh province or restaurants in Hanoi. The second cohort of 31 trainees started their courses in early April and 30 of them graduated in early July 2017. 29 of 31 trainees from the second cohort, or 94% of participants, have secured jobs with cruise ships in Quang Ninh province or luxury restaurants and resorts in Lao Cai province and Hanoi.

Starbucks Vietnam and The Asia Foundation will implement this program in partnership with REACH, a local non-governmental organization specializing in providing vocational training, career advice, and job placement to some of Vietnam’s most disadvantaged youth. Funding for the project is supported by Starbucks Foundation through the Starbucks Fund at Give2Asia. 

About Starbucks
 Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality Arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at

  About Starbucks Foundation
 Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation believes in creating pathways to lifelong opportunities for underserved young people and developing social consciousness through community service to create a purpose driven workforce. The Foundation is proud to partner with organizations that are providing the training and experiences needed to help young people become job ready. The Starbucks Foundation gave $6.9 million to 128 nonprofit organizations in 2015. The Starbucks Foundation also supports employee engagement in their local community. Coming together in service represents a fundamental act of citizenship for individuals, businesses and community members to create a stronger, more cohesive society.

   About The Asia Foundation
 The Asia Foundation is a nonprofit international development organization committed to improving lives across a dynamic and developing Asia. Headquartered in San Francisco, The Asia Foundation works through a network of offices in 18 Asian countries and in Washington, DC. Informed by six decades of experience and deep local expertise, the Foundation’s work across the Asia addresses five overarching goals—strengthening governance, empowering women, expanding economic opportunity, increasing environmental resilience, and promoting regional cooperation.

 Established in 2008, REACH is a local nonprofit organization that specializes in providing vocational training, career advice and job placement for Vietnam’s most disadvantaged youth. REACH provides practical training in areas including hospitality, tourism, hairdressing, nail art, sales, marketing, and web and graphic design across its centers in Hanoi, Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An, and Hai Duong. To date, REACH has trained over 12,000 youth with a very committed staff. Over 80% of its students have been placed in a stable employment post-graduation in the services sector such as bartending, sales, and web design.

For more information, contact:

   Chi Nguyen
 Marketing & PR Manager | Coffee Master Viet Idea Food & Beverage Company Limited
 +84 (28) 3823-9991 (ext: 116)

Dinh Kieu Nhung
 Office & Educational Resources Program Manager The Asia Foundation, Vietnam
 +84 (24) 3943-3263 (ext: 103)

   Ho Hai Yen
 Communications & Events Officer
 REACH Headquarters 
 +84 (24) 7302-1338

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