Amazon is partnering with nonprofit organization FareStart to launch a job training program in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. The eCommerce giant is donating more than 25,000 square feet of retail space to help support living wage career opportunities for those in need.
The initiative will also bring five new eateries to Seattle, which will serve as the training location for those enrolled in the program and help people in entry-level foodservice jobs attain the skills needed to earn a higher income.
“Amazon has been a longtime FareStart supporter, and the opportunity to partner with them on this project could not have come at a better time for our community,” FareStart CEO Megan Karch said in a statement. “Poverty and income inequality are growing in Seattle. Meanwhile, the foodservice industry is experiencing a shortage of chefs and other staff in higher wage positions. Amazon’s generous support will help us train more people to fill those vacant positions.”
FareStart has been helping those who are homeless or living in poverty for nearly 25 years through its culinary job training and employment placement programs.
In addition to the more than 25,000 square feet Amazon is donating for the five new eateries, the company is also providing a catering space as well as training classrooms.
“FareStart has provided opportunity and job training to more than 8,000 people who are homeless or living in poverty, and we’re excited that this new space will help them double their training program over the next 10 years,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, added. “We’re lucky to live in a city with such innovative organizations and we look forward to having FareStart as part of our urban campus.”
The eateries will be located on Amazon’s campus and will be operated by FareStart and open to the public. The full-service restaurant, three fast-casual outlets, a coffee shop and a catering venue are expected to open in late summer 2017.