Partnerships with Centerplate and a $200,000 grant from Bank of America help advance economic mobility through meaningful employment and workforce development programming.
SEATTLE–Juma Ventures today unveils its latest effort to expand workforce development and employment for Seattle’s low-income youth with the opening of its new Boba Tea stand. Co-located with Juma’s other venue Caffe Vita on the Terrace Club 214 of Safeco Field, Boba tea will be on the menu in time for the Seattle Mariners’ season home opener against the Cleveland Indians on March 29.
The venue will offer five exciting flavors of this popular, fun and youthful drink that layers a milk tea base with the surprising texture of tapioca pearls. The space for Caffe Vita and the new Boba Tea stand are part of Juma’s partnership with Centerplate, the Mariner’s hospitality provider. The stand will be staffed by area youth participating in Juma’s Pathways and YouthConnect programs.
Juma Seattle offers year-round employment, including vendor opportunities at University of Washington sporting events as well as with Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, home of Seattle’s professional sports teams. It serves both college-bound students and youth who are out-of-work and out-of-school, ages 16-24. Since 2013, Juma Seattle has employed more than 550 area youth who have earned more than $1.5 million in wages and saved $220,000 for college through a matched savings program – all while developing career skills and receiving financial education.
“We are thrilled to announce the opening of our new Boba Tea stand and Safeco Field and tremendously humbled and grateful to our public/private partners for making these employment opportunities a reality for the youth we serve,” said Mason J. Moore, Juma Seattle Executive Director. “We’re particularly grateful to Centerplate for working with us on the space and to Bank of America, whose generous financial support over the next two years will help double the amount of Seattle-area youth we can put onto a lifelong trajectory of employment and advancement.”
Bank of America named Juma Seattle as one of its 2018 Neighborhood Builders winners for the organization’s work to break the cycle of poverty by matching youth from low-income households with programs that provide employment, educational and financial skills support.
Bank of America is providing leadership training and networking opportunities for key Juma staff members and investing $200,000 in flexible funding, part of which Juma applied to opening and operating costs associated with Boba Tea stand. Bank employees have also participated in financial empowerment training with Juma’s youth.
“We congratulate Juma Seattle on the launch of their latest concession and another proof point of their successful model in addressing critical community needs and strengthening the economic vitality of our city,” said Anthony DiBlasi, Washington state and Seattle Market President for Bank of America. “Bank of America’s investment in Juma through our Neighborhood Builders program stems from the knowledge that helping low-income youth is best when we partner to create short and long-term pathways to better financial futures.”
About Juma Ventures
Juma is a national social enterprise that operates concessions businesses at professional sports and entertainment venues with the purpose of providing employment and soft skills training to youth from underserved communities. They also provide supportive services to help youth overcome barriers to permanent employment, build financial capability, and launch into career and education pathways. Juma strives to break the cycle of poverty by paving the way to work, education and financial capability for youth across America. Juma operates in 20+ venues and serves over 1,200 youth per year in eight cities: Atlanta, Houston, New Orleans, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Seattle. www.juma.org
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Mason J. Moore
Bank of America