News

Starbucks baristas can get (almost) free degrees

Starbucks baristas can get (almost) free degrees

DO YOU WANT A DEGREE WITH THAT LATTE?:Starbucks plans to partly pay for online degree programs. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp said it plans to partly pay for an online bachelor’s degree program for its employees in the United States, hoping to retain its workforce and save on hiring and training costs.

The world’s largest coffee chain is teaming up with Arizona State University to subsidize education for its U.S. employees who work an average of 20 hours a week.

As of September 2013, Starbucks had 137,000 employees, about three-fourths of its global workforce, in the United States.

Employees enrolling in the program, called the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, can choose among 40 subjects ranging from retail management to electrical engineering and will be under no obligation to remain with the company after graduation.

Employees admitted to the university as a junior or senior will earn full tuition reimbursement for each semester of full-time course work, while freshmen and sophomores will be eligible for a partial tuition scholarship, the company said in a statement on Sunday.

Starbucks declined to estimate how much it expects to spend on the program. “We will know more of what the investment will be once partners (employees) sign up over the next year,” Starbucks spokeswoman Laurel Harper said in an email.

Starbucks’ investment in its employees’ education comes as it grapples with higher dairy costs. The company has locked in coffee prices for the rest of this fiscal year.

Harper declined to comment on employee retention rate in the company, citing competitive reasons, but said Starbucks has achieved retention rates “well above the industry average.”

(Reporting by Sampad Patnaik in Bangalore and Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: July 22

costello

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Local Sports

West Coast League All-Star Game Cancelled Due To Rain

bellingham bells pcl logo generic 3

Seven Bellingham Bells players were sent to the West Coast League All-Star game in Klammath Falls, Oregon, but a late…

in Local Sports

Seager, Ackley lead Mariners past Mets 5-2

Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon is seen before a spring exhibition baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in Peoria, Ariz.

Dustin Ackley stole a home run with a leaping catch at the wall in the Seattle Mariners' 5-2 win over the New York Mets on Monday night.

in Local Sports

Seattle pushes Iwakuma, Hernandez back a day

seattle mariners erasmo ramirez

More rotation changes for the M's as Erasmo Ramirez will get the start Tuesday against the New York Mets

in Local Sports

WWU men’s basketball 2014-15 schedule announced

wwu timeout

WWU Vikings to make 15 home appearances, travel to Puerto Rico.