Lompoc Starbucks dedicated as Military Family Store
By Senior Airman Kyla Gifford, 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
/ Published February 21, 2016
VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Over the last year and a half the Vandenberg Air Force Base Airman and Family Readiness Center and Starbucks have been working together to help facilitate job opportunities for veterans and military spouses in the local community.
Because of the success of this partnership and the hiring efforts on a local level, the Lompoc Starbucks was recently dedicated as a Military Family Store.
"At Starbucks one of the ways we're working to engage with military communities in a meaningful way is through Military Family Stores," said Connie Blankenburg, Starbucks district manager. "It allows us to create lasting partnerships between local military communities, veteran service organizations and Starbucks stores."
Lompoc Starbucks is the 18th store, nationally, that is recognized for their efforts.
"We recognize the talent that comes from the United States military veterans and spouses and we want to hire them," said Mick James, Starbucks Corporate military support liaison. "We made a commitment to hire 10,000 veterans and spouses at Starbucks before 2018, and at this time we've hired over 6,000."
This presentation unveiled a wall that honors the military working for Starbucks, and local military members. Representatives of the Starbucks management team attended the event, as well as members of the local Lompoc community, VAFB leadership and approximately 15 military spouses and veterans employed at Starbucks.
After years of relocating and moving, it can be challenging for spouses to find employment. The A&FRC offers a career focus program meant to ensure transitioning service members and military spouses are aware of employment related resources both on and off base, as well as assisting in overall career readiness.
"The ability for spouses to be able to find employment is a top area of concern," said Emily Dreiling, 30th Force Support Squadron community readiness consultant. "It's not only the ability to find jobs, but the ability to find jobs with companies that are willing to invest in spouses overall career progression and future, and recognize all of the great characteristics that military spouses can bring to an organization."
This Military Family Store, as well as the others dedicated around the country, will help bring to life three main areas of focus for engaging with veterans and military spouses - hiring, community involvement and celebrating and honoring service members.
With the vision of creating a workplace that recognizes, honors and celebrates the service and efforts of veterans and military spouses, Starbucks offers certain initiatives, such as; patriotic aprons, coffee donations to active military stationed overseas, Military Family Store art, a veterans Starbucks gift card and mug and small gestures like complimentary coffee on Veteran's Day.
"We want to be engaged in the communities we serve, that is part of our Starbucks DNA," said James. "There is something special about getting involved in the military community. This is our blueprint for growth within the Military Family Store program, the opportunity to bring these groups together."