The famed basketball star LeBron James is investing in a new venture with a community-building twist—it includes a Starbucks and much more.
- James, whose net worth recently reached $1 billion according to Forbes estimates, has newly opened a Starbucks in his hometown of Akron, Ohio.
- The store features a Chase bank, a wine room, a social room, a bar, and a Lebron museum, Yahoo Sports reports.
- James’ new venture may seem pedestrian at first glance, but this investment comes with a twist—the 46 employees will earn certificates that will make them more qualified for positions in the hospitality industry.
Why it’s news
This type of training is typically relegated to community colleges or vocational schools, but James’ new venture takes a fresh look at job training. When students earn these same certificates at schools, they are not being paid for them—usually, they are paying for the education to receive them. James’ model makes sure those who cannot afford to miss work can still further their education and job skills.
Employees can train for several lucrative hospitality industry jobs such as event planning, food service, and janitorial work. The certificates they earn will make it easier for these employers to get job offers in the future, The Athletic reports.
This new venture is part of James’ commitment to breaking the cycle of poverty in his hometown by addressing the root cause of the issues. The LeBron James Family Foundation has focused on improving the education of Akron students. It has served over 1,400 students by establishing various programs, support systems, and mentors for children inside and outside school activities.
James’ new Starbucks is inside a facility called House Three Thirty. The Family Foundation purchased the building three years ago and has plans to add more facilities, including an ice cream parlor and clothing store.
Initiatives like House Three Thirty are intended to develop the community and encourage residents to better themselves and stop the cycle of poverty.