As part of a company initiative to support economic development and provide employment and job training to those in underserved communities, Starbucks has opened a distinctive store model at the corner of Long Beach Boulevard and Willow Street.

The first of its kind in California and one of six built around the country, the new Starbucks in the Sixth District’s Wrigley neighborhood is a coffeehouse and classroom, designed specifically to provide life skills training for area youngsters in partnership with local nonprofits.

Hines oversees the opening of stores associated with Starbucks’ Opportunity for Youth program, which the coffee purveyor has announced as an effort to hire 100,000 16- to 24-year-old employees who would otherwise not be working or in school.

Starbucks has selected such sites based on population density and company assessments of whether a given locale’s civic leaders are committed to job training programs.

Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews was among various city leaders there to show support.

Vice Mayor and Ninth District City Councilman Rex Richardson called the new Starbucks said he was thrilled for young people in Long Beach to have additional job opportunities.

The hiring process for the new store, Doremus said, was an emotional affair, with applicants’ excitement being palpable and their stories compelling since many were struggling to find good-paying jobs. Some are young parents, others are teens who aged out of the foster system, all needed a job, and many were in tears during the celebration or proudly snapping selfies of themselves in their green aprons.