Starbucks 100th Singapore Store Provides Meaningful Employment and Lifelong Skills for Partners with Autism


WEBWIRE – Friday, February 14, 2014

Starbucks 100th store in Singapore highlights the country’s deep history and heritage and is the first Starbucks in the market to hire and train autistic partners (employees) with support from a local organization.

“As Starbucks continues to accelerate growth across Southeast Asia, Singapore will continue to play an important role in that expansion. We are committed to opening stores beyond the business districts into the heartlands where our customers and partners live; and aim to create more than 200 new full and part-time job opportunities in Singapore this year,” said Jeff Hansberry, president, Starbucks China and Asia Pacific. “Giving back to our local communities has always been core to our business, and this nearly 10-year collaboration, and now in-store training and employment opportunity program, allows us to take positive actions to embrace people with special needs as one of our own.”

Starbucks has collaborated with the Autism Resource Center in Singapore since 2005 through various programs including the Pathlight School, a café training facility for its students.

Six autistic partners will be working in Starbucks new store, in the heart of the Singapore Central Business District, including Marcus Lim, a full-time barista.

“Through Starbucks I am able to know what working life is all about,” said Lim. “Starbucks has taught me about understanding customers’ needs and how to be efficient while doing my work.”

A wall within the store showcases the talents within Pathlight School to raise autism awareness. The space encourages interaction between customers and partners with the first split-bar concept in Singapore.

“Many persons with autism, like those with other special needs, can become contributing members of the workforce if they are properly identified, trained and supported at work.  The challenge is to do so in a systematic and sustainable manner. This expanded alliance with Starbucks showcases the immense possibilities available for persons who might otherwise be left behind in our fast-growing society. I am confident that it will inspire and encourage other businesses to do the same for not only the autism, but the entire special-needs community,” said Denise Phua, President, ARC (Singapore).

The opening of Starbucks 100th store in Singapore is a key milestone in the company’s 17-year development in the market and continued growth in the region.  Starbucks will also open its first store in Brunei on February 16 at one of the most popular shopping destinations in the country, Mabohai Mall. This marks the company’s 15th market in the China and Asia Pacific region and its 64th market globally. The first Starbucks Brunei store has been designed to reflect Starbucks 43-year coffee heritage, while embracing the country’s distinctive local traditions and culture. 

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 www.starbucks.com.



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