Jamba Juice to hire 2,500 young people

March 26, 2012 6:42:09 PM PDT
A massive hiring effort is underway to give 2,500 young people jobs this summer. You could call it "Jamba Jobs." The Bay Area's own Jamba Juice Company is teaming up with the Job Corps to make it happen.

Jamba Juice CEO and chairman, James White, says that Jamba Jobs is a win-win for all involved. Young people have an opportunity to enter the workforce and Jamba Juice has an opportunity to see team leaders, and fast-track them to leadership positions, in their stores.

"It's something where we share a piece of ourselves with others," said Dahlya Saunders.

Saunders is just one of several students at the Treasure Island Job Corps culinary arts program learning her way around a kitchen.

"It's amazing to be able to share something that's so personal and a part of myself with others and have them experiencing what I'm experiencing through the food they eat," said Saunders.

Like most of the students here, they're from all over, with one important thing in common, they needed a change.

"I didn't have a lot of anything to do," said Saunders.

Like Saunders most of the students there tell me that they hadn't completed high school, and were on a completely different life path before Job Corps presented them with an opportunity to rewrite their future.

"That's what Job Corps there for, so you can show people that you've got potential," said Shammela Hall, a job corps student.

But the job corps isn't the only one that sees that potential. White, flanked by others, is pushing his plan again to hire more than 2,500 young people for summer jobs.

"We're active participants in the local communities in where we do business and we've always hired and employed young people and we've just found a treasure trove, pun intended, here at Treasure Island," said White.

He says that students of the culinary school are ready to step into positions and their multiple stores throughout the Bay Area will provide jobs for many more. Finding a job is especially challenging for young minority applicants between the age of 18 and 30 in Oakland. Nearly one-third of them remain unemployed. White says there are huge benefits to hiring young people from the neighborhood.

"The passion and kind of vision to do better is as great if not greater," said White.

For Saunders, Jamba Juice isn't her only option; she's cooking up something even yummier.

"I should be finishing in the next four weeks and I just got a job at the Hyatt Regency in Lake Tahoe," said Saunders.

Jamba Juice is not the only one hiring. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan has kicked off her summer jobs program, giving first priority to young people living in the 100 block area. That's the area she says has been hardest hit by unemployment and the numbers there are double the state average.

The next HIREvent sponsored by ABC7 and the Job Journal takes place Tuesday from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Hotel Whitcomb in San Francisco. Some of the employers include: Bio Marin Pharmaceutical, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Kellogg Company and Sleep Train.

Free HIREvent Job Fair
Tuesday, March 27th
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Hotel Whitcomb San Francisco
1231 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94103


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