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starbucks

More than 1,000 enrolled for Starbucks tuition program

Starbucks says more than 1,000 of its workers have enrolled for an upcoming fall semester at Arizona State University to take advantage of a program that helps pay for their tuition.

That’s from about 4,000 workers who started the application process, 2,000 who completed it, and 1,800 who were accepted by the school, according to Starbucks. The Seattle-based company said the most popular degree programs being pursued are psychology, organizational leadership, health sciences, mass communications and media studies and English.

Starbucks said it is too early to tell how much the company will end up paying in tuition reimbursement for the first batch of students. Reimbursements to workers will vary, with many employees expected to qualify for financial aid such as federal Pell grants because of their limited incomes. Over time, however, Starbucks said it expects to spend “tens of millions of dollars” a year on the tuition reimbursement as more workers take advantage of it.

The company is partnering exclusively with Arizona State University’s online school to offer the benefit.

The program was greeted with fanfare this summer because tuition reimbursement is a rare benefit for low-wage retail and food workers. Starbucks also isn’t requiring workers to stay with the company once they finish their degrees. Some of the program’s terms also drew criticisms, however, such as its requirement that students complete 21 credits before being reimbursed.

The program’s terms also vary depending on the student’s year.

For freshmen and sophomores, Arizona State University is giving workers an upfront discount of about $6,500 to cover the estimated $30,000 in tuition for two years, according to Starbucks. To cover the remainder of the costs, workers would apply for financial aid, such as Pell grants, and pay for the rest either out of pocket or by taking out loans.

Students will not be reimbursed for those first two years, meaning Starbucks won’t incur any costs.

For the junior and senior years, ASU is giving a discount of about $12,600 of the $30,000. Starbucks would reimburse whatever tuition workers have to pay for after the financial aid they receive.

On Tuesday, Starbucks was set to announce that 70 percent of the workers who enrolled in the program this fall are juniors or seniors, meaning they will get full reimbursement. About half the workers are baristas and 35 percent are shift supervisors. The rest have positions of assistant store manager or above, the company said.

The company said the most applications came from California, Washington, Arizona, Texas, Florida and Illinois.

Phoenix Sky Harbor, Photo: Flickr, flavouz

Volaris will fly out of Sky Harbor

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport is welcoming a new airline that will operate direct flights to two cities in Mexico.

Officials say Volaris, the largest Mexican low-cost airline, will fly nonstop, three times a week from Phoenix to Mexico City and Phoenix to Guadalajara beginning later this year.

Details on exact days and times have not yet been released.

Volaris CEO Enrique Beltranena and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton say the new flights will strengthen economic ties and bolster tourism.

Sky Harbor currently offers nonstop flights to 20 international cities, including several daily flights to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Volaris also serves airports in California, Colorado, Nevada, Illinois and Florida.

Curis Resources - Florence Copper Project

MJ Insurance Expands Metals Group to Phoenix

MJ Insurance, a leading property-casualty and employee benefits agency headquartered in Indianapolis, is expanding its successful  Metals Group to its Phoenix office.

For more than 20 years, MJ Insurance has represented metals and metal-related companies including manufacturers, processors, scrap metal dealers and all other companies using metals with their risk management programs from its Indianapolis office. The private insurance agency is now expanding its reach by extending the service line in its Phoenix office for clients across the West.

“We are intrigued to see where this expansion takes MJ Insurance,” said Michael H. Bill, CEO of MJ Insurance. “Our Metals Group has seen significant growth in the last few years in line with new environmental policies and our team has remained on the front line of the risk inherent to the industry. We are excited to now expand these services and see how it benefits the industry in the West.”

MJ Insurance’s Metals Group helps clients identify and cover unique exposures by designing risk management programs specifically tailored to them. The team focuses exclusively on the metals industry, allowing them to offer the utmost individualized service and programs available while being resourceful to meet each specific company’s needs with safety and environmental consulting.

The metals group currently serves clients in the Midwest throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Illinois and Missouri. With the expansion, the company looks to serve Nevada, Arizona, Utah, California and Colorado businesses, while expanding its reach in the already successful market in Mexico.

Specialty coverage and options include captive alternatives, ocean cargo, foreign travel, Mexico transit, environmental liability and trade credit, among others.

MJ Insurance also has an online Risk Management Center that enables clients to easily manage various insurance, risk management and OSHA compliance responsibilities while also offering access to online safety tools.

The company is an active member in several metals, manufacturing and recycling trade associations, further showcasing their commitment and knowledge of the industry.