At Walker High School, Principal Jason St Pierre has introduced students to a new way of learning by opening a non-traditional PJ’s Coffee franchise on the school campus. This PJ’s Coffee has opened new doors as an opportunity for students to gain real-world experience through working at PJ’s Coffee.
Principal Jason St Pierre has a vision that allows high school students to learn basic job skills that are found beyond the classroom. At Walker High School students are learning management skills, customer-service relations, time management, budgeting, and much more. Job responsibilities range from cashier, and barista, to manager of the PJ’s Coffee shop.
Operating a non-traditional PJ’s Coffee Franchise
Jason signed the franchise agreement with PJ’s Coffee in 2019, in hopes of providing jobs for students who lacked, or would not have the opportunity to receive, real-world job experience. He believed that bringing PJ’s Coffee to Walker High School would encourage and motivate students to apply for their very first job to earn certifications or class credits. The goal is to make sure students are receiving the proper real-world experiences to succeed in adult life.
The non-traditional coffee shop is managed by one of the special needs teachers and is catered towards the special needs students to handle daily operations. It is fully staffed by rotating classes of 10th and 11th grade students from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., on school days, as part of their elective study skills classes. Due to the high volume of customers at the coffee shop, three to four students are also trained to be managers to assist the special needs teacher. The student managers also train incoming students to ensure the coffee shop is fully operated by students.
In addition to learning job skills, students are taught the importance of customer service and treating others with respect. “We teach our students that customer service is a way of life and that’s an important part of running a business,” said Jason. Not only is this opportunity teaching students valuable workplace skills, but it is also teaching them valuable people skills.
Success that leads to Expansion
The outcome of this new program has been nothing short of positive. Parents and community members have expressed what a wonderful addition PJ’s Coffee has been to the campus and the impact it has on the students at Walker High School. “Parents are proud to know that their kids are gaining these skills and are able to run a coffee shop despite some of them having disabilities,” said Jason. Although the program was instituted to assist special needs students in their educational and personal development, all students on campus are welcome to apply to work at PJ’s Coffee.
In fact, students have enjoyed this opportunity so much that they are expanding their business by creating a “coffee trailer.” This new addition will allow students to sell PJ’s Coffee at various locations such as businesses, schools, venues, etc. This has truly been an all-inclusive community opportunity.
Unwavering Support from PJ’s Coffee
Jason has expressed the incredible support he has received from the PJ’s Coffee Corporate Team. The team at PJ’s Coffee has made this opportunity both possible and successful, as they have continued to provide ongoing support to ensure continued success for the longevity of PJ’s Coffee on high school campuses.
By the time these students graduate and enter the real world, they will have more work experience than most kids their age. Students will also be able to apply to any PJ’s Coffee location and already have the necessary skills and training needed to succeed. Through this program, PJ’s Coffee and Walker High School are creating more successful futures for students.
If you’re interested in opening a non-traditional PJ’s Coffee franchise to help high school students gain work experience, contact us today!
Same-Store Sales Increase