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Starbucks to Open Its First Location in Jamaica

 Starbucks will soon open its first location in Jamaica.
Starbucks will soon open its first location in Jamaica.
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QUEENS — Jamaica is getting its first Starbucks, and it's looking to hire from the community.

The coffee chain is set to open a new cafe in a recently renovated building at 89-02 Sutphin Blvd., across the street from the Queens County Civil Courthouse in downtown Jamaica, the company announced Thursday.

The new store is launching as part of the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, a plan in which more than a dozen American corporations commit to hiring 100,000 unemployed young people by 2018.

The Jamaica location is slated to be among the first five stores scheduled to open in 2016, according to Starbucks. 

The cafe on Sutphin will include an employee training center, and the chain plans to hire about 20 to 25 employees from the community, the company said.

Starbucks seeks to help find jobs for about 10,000 people between ages 16 and 24 and is planning to "open stores in 15 diverse, low to medium income urban communities across the United States," Starbucks said in a statement.

Other locations in the roll out, all of which will feature onsite training centers and will aim to hire people from the community, will open in Chicago, Ferguson, Milwaukee and Phoenix, according to the coffee chain.

Simone Price, executive director of the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District, said Jamaica residents "have been asking [for] a Starbucks for a very long time."

"It’s a telling sign of the area’s growth and development," she said. "I think that this is the beginning of similar franchises and similar businesses wanting to come to the area." 

She also noted that she expects the new store to draw more people to the area, and in turn, help other businesses in downtown Jamaica.

In recent years, the area has been undergoing a transformation, with a number of new apartment buildings, hotels and stores opening in the neighborhood.