It’s Seattle: we have one of the highest rates of coffee shops per person in the nation. The Barista Training & Customer Service Program is an eight-week training program for young people interested in appeasing Seattlites’ caffeine cravings by diving into the world of coffee and customer service.

The Barista program is for young people ages 16-24 and located at YouthCare’s Orion Center and The 2100 Building in partnership with FareStart. During their first two weeks, participants learn how to thrive as a team, perfect the art of coffee-making, and understand the basics of customer service. The next five weeks are spent at the FareStart Café in the 2100 Building, where young people can apply their skills in the real world by gaining on-site experience: opening and closing the cafe, preparing food, and working busy rushes.

At the end of the program, all participants polish their resumes and covers letter and receive mock interviews through Starbucks. Many graduates are then hired at local coffee shops across our community and receive ten months of follow-up employment support.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Ages 16–24
  • Experiencing homelessness, unstably housed, or at imminent risk of losing housing
  • Able to commit to an eight-week, Monday–Friday training program (seven weeks paid and one week unpaid)
  • Willing to develop employment goals and engage in ten months of follow-up support
  • Available at a minimum Monday–Thursday, 1pm–6pm and Friday, 8:30am–5pm
  • Valid photo ID and a Birth Certificate or Social Security Card (if you don’t have them, we can help you get them)

Click here to speak to someone about hiring a Barista graduate. 

Contact the Barista Program Supervisor to apply or learn more about the program