Just ahead of Veterans Day, Starbucks has announced plans to expand a number of benefits for employees who are current and former members of the military, including offering its free-college plan to a spouse and child of those employees.
The coffee giant said it is also moving forward with plans to establish 30 “Military Family Stores” by the end of 2016. Those units, which are located near military bases, are run and staffed by veterans and military spouses who are transitioning out of service.
Hires at Military Family Stores, the extension of Starbucks’ former Community Stores program, contribute to the chain’s goal to onboard 10,000 veterans by 2018.
“We have a responsibility as a nation to honor our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice, but it goes without saying thank you—we must put our thanks into action and collectively help those who are making the transition from military to civilian life,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a statement. “Not only do we have a moral duty to engage veterans once they leave the service, we know that doing so in a meaningful way will ultimately strengthen our nation.”
Starbucks also announced that it is adding a new “pay-for-service” benefit, which pays employees for up to 80 hours spent fulfilling armed-service obligations.