Last month, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced he was teaming up with executives from 16 other companies to close the gap in job opportunities available to young Americans between the ages of 16 and 24. Now, with the number of partnered companies growing to 29, the Starbucks-led initiative, called 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, kicked off Aug. 13 in Chicago.
With recruiters from various companies, including Taco Bell, Hyatt, and Macy’s, looking to fill hundreds of local positions, at least 3,000 pre-registered youth are expected to attend the event, which will include workshops, on-the-spot mentoring and feedback, college counseling, skill development and entertaining activities.
“Bringing the first hiring fair to Chicago will have an impact on both the business and the young people that they will hire for years to come, supporting growth in the city’s economy and creating more opportunities for our residents,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. “Chicago will have the chance to showcase its talented workforce to the participating companies and further increase the potential of our residents to secure lasting employment.”
The goal of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative is to hire and engage at least 100,000 youth by 2018, who face systematic barriers to employment and education, with apprenticeships, internships, training programs and part-time and full-time jobs.
Following the Chicago job fair, Grammy-award winning artist Common will host an open discussion with the young people that focuses on economic opportunity in America. He will also be joined on stage by special guests, local community leaders, and other entertainers.
Chicago is the first of many cities the initiative plans to hold job fairs in where they will partner with community organizations and civic leaders to provide the local skills training and hiring opportunities young people need.