Jamba Juice CEO James White has organized a National Hiring Day at 100 stores Tuesday but he kicked things off Monday at the Job Corps Center on Treasure Island. "There's a special place in my heart in terms of young people, to give them that first leg up for job opportunities. And quite honestly, black and brown young people sometimes don't always have that opportunity," he told ABC7 News.
Since last year, White has tried to provide that break for Job Corps participants who are low-income young people pursuing an education and learning skills in a variety of trades, including the culinary arts. "I was looking for work everywhere," Jamba Juice employee Rene Ortiz recalled. "There were no jobs anywhere. The recession was really, really bad. So, that's when I decided to go to Job Corps."
Ortiz, 24, turned his culinary training into an internship with Jamba Juice and now has a job creating new drinks in their Emeryville test kitchen. The company CEO says he's looking for great energy and passion as he recruits employees for the summer. Jamba Juice has 3,500 openings nationwide, 500 in the Bay Area.
Job Corps students are getting first crack at the summer work which primarily includes helping out in the stores and working in administration. Alycia Westfall is hoping for an office job. "Show people that you have the skills, that you've been learning, and that you qualify for that job," she explained.
"We're not just interested in students getting jobs, but in building a career that can make a lifelong difference for them," San Francisco Job Corps Director Jennifer Cha said. It happened for Ortiz and many other students are hoping for the same opportunity.
Anyone can apply for jobs Tuesday between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.