Why Starbucks Won’t Hire 10,000 Veterans

Starbucks has created quite the stir with their 10k refugee hiring commitment leaving thousands of Americans baffled and asking why they won’t hire 10,000 of the nearly half million unemployed US Veterans who are desperately looking for work.  The answer is simple – Starbucks capitalizes on the DNC’s political movement of the day with pop-up hiring announcements and job fairs.

I noticed this trend in 2011 when Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, was one of the leaders spearheading Upward Spiral.   Upward Spiral was supposed to be the ‘big thing’ for American workers.  Numerous companies signed up, promoted it, sold themselves as the good guys, and convinced the American public that it was the perfect thing for the jobs crisis and everyone was committed to hiring (and re-hiring) HUGE numbers of people.

Red white and blue bracelets were distributed, pocket cards, you name it.  It was a big deal!  Wasn’t bad for Starbucks sales, either.

Then, in 2012, Upward Spiral hit rock bottom as millions of people were let go and their jobs went overseas.  I’m in tech and I had never seen such a massive bloodletting of highly skilled and qualified workers – and I survived the dot.com bust.

Our Vets took a massive hit on the job front and, rightfully so, felt betrayed by the country they fought for.

A year later, in 2013, Howard Schultz announced that Starbucks would commit to hiring 10,000 Vets and military spouses.  Media outlets ran headlines like, “From Battlefield to Barista” to garner public support for the program.

Unfortunately, for most of our military men, women, and their spouses, the role of a Barista at Starbucks was a huge pay cut compared to the jobs that were taken from them the previous year.  What people, like Howard Schultz, forget is most of our Vets are not full-time soldiers.  They leave good jobs when their called to duty, and they USED to return to the same good jobs without the fear of getting laid off.

The Obama years changed that.

But, the timing for Starbucks couldn’t have been better.  Unemployed Veterans were a hot political topic during the 2012 election year that bled over to 2013.  Starbucks was under fire for not saying Merry Christmas so they changed the public relations dialog.

Once again, it worked, Starbucks looked good and their sales improved.

Another jobs blood-letting occurred in 2014.  It wasn’t as deep as the 2012 blood-letting but it still cut deep for those still struggling to find a job and those new the unemployment line. Not to mention the thousands of recent college graduates who couldn’t find jobs.

In 2015, Schultz had an “epiphany” that there were thousands of ‘under-served’ millennials who couldn’t find work.  He failed to make the connection that their parents. who had been laid off and struggling to find a job, were working the low-end jobs like a Barista at Starbucks, chief burger flipper, etc.  So, he partnered up with other liberal companies and pledged to hire 100,000 disconnected millennials.

“Youth” unemployment was also a hot topic during the 2014 mid-term cycle and Starbucks capitalized on it.

Meanwhile, companies across America prepared for the next round of job blood-letting as they quietly shipped more jobs overseas.  The initial plan was to have the big hits occur after the 2016 election cycle but companies were so confident “open boarders” Hillary would win, they started making announcements in October of last year as opposed to the tradition of waiting to hand the pinks slips out around Thanksgiving, which is after the election.

Like in 2012 and 2014, the jobs didn’t really go away.  Most went overseas.  Those that remained were taken over by H1B visa holders brought over by foreign based companies – after the full time employees trained the H1B visa holder.  At least that’s what happened (and continues to happen) in the tech world.

But, hey, Starbucks continues to look good.

Here we are in 2017 and the refugee pause is a hot political topic.  In true Starbucks fashion, they’ve announced a pop-up hiring spree tailored to the refugee community.

Now that people are boycotting Starbucks, Starbucks has responded that they’ve hired more than 8,000 Vets and military spouses since 2014 – but they are short on their 2013 pledge.  Further, they give absolutely no indication how many of those Vets have been retained after the tax break expired. That’s right, there’s also a tax incentive to hire a Vet.

As a GenX whose friends and family have done numerous tours since we defended Kuwait 27 years ago and, as we are now faced with the reality that our children are heading over to the same ‘conflict zones’ plus additional countries the Obama/Clinton/Kerry regime decided to destabilize (Syria, Yemen, Libya), I do thank Starbucks for their efforts to keep our Vets employed (considering Schultz’s ungrateful liberal counterparts have not slowed down on layoffs).

At the same time, Starbucks has a pop-up hiring spree every two years and they’re clearly timed around election cycles. It can before or shortly after the cycle – there is a direct correlation to national elections. Each hiring spree is based on the political narrative of the day as driven by the DNC.  The refugees are the job stars of the pop-up hiring spree this year.  Sadly, based on the history of their pop-up job initiatives and the layoffs that follow, I wouldn’t be surprised to see an increase in layoffs that will further deplete jobs in all market segments.

Instead of having random pop-up hiring sprees, why doesn’t the leadership of Starbucks call the President and say, “Hey, we want to work with you to bring jobs back to the United States for all Americans so we can reduce tensions and have capacity to help others from conflict zones who pass the vetting process.”

Alas, this is politics and working with Republicans would be too easy.

So, what should people do while they wait to see if the DNC picks jobs for Vets as their demographic jobs narrative for the next cycle?  Well, you can certainly boycott Starbucks.  Or, you can #Switch2@ScootersCoffee or #Switch2@Caribou_Coffee.

As I stated previously, I am thankful that Starbucks does have a Jobs for Vets initiative.  At the same, I wish they would work with the President, and Republicans, to re-stabilize the job situation in all market segments and help get our half million unemployed Vets back to work.



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