Starbucks announced the opening of the Penang Signing Store, its second in Malaysia and fourth globally, as part of its ongoing commitment to inclusion, accessibility and diversity.
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Located in the heart of Penang’s historic Deaf community, the store creates new career opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing partners (employees), while also serving as the Third Place for Penang’s long-established Deaf community to host sign language workshops and career development seminars.
“The overwhelming success of our first Signing Store in Kuala Lumpur in 2016 demonstrated the importance of representation and belonging in the workplace,” said Sydney Quays, managing director of Starbucks Malaysia & Brunei.
“It taught us how valuing different perspectives not only contributes back to the business, but also make meaningful changes that enriches lives. The reason that we chose Penang is because of its rich culture and historic relationship with the Deaf community in Malaysia, spanning more than 50 years,” added Sydney Quays.
Starbucks Malaysia partnered with the Penang Deaf Association to support the professional training and development of the store’s partners, including internship opportunities and sign language classes for the store’s seven hearing partners.
“We are very excited to partner with Starbucks to provide richer career opportunities and sense of belonging to the Deaf community in Penang. Starbucks stores are a place for many kinds of people to come together, and we are proud to invite everyone to experience the vibrant Deaf culture that has thrived here in Penang for over 70 years,” said Razman Tan Abdullah, President of the Penang Deaf Association.