manufacturing interview:


Working with Starbucks Jobs for USA program

An Interview with Amber Forsythe, Buyer for Starbucks, Senior Buyer/Planner, BDA Inc.

Q: What is your relationship with Next Step?
A: BDA awarded Next Step the contracts with Starbucks to produce more than one million Indivisible bracelets and assemble coffee gift packs.

Q: How did Next Step do fulfill project requirements?
A: Next Step is so amazingly flexible and eager to work. We don’t always find that with suppliers. They were able to meet and exceed all the requirements we asked of them. They were always honest in their business dealings. We have a lot of trust with them.

Q: Did Next Step’s mission impact your decision to hire them?
A: Next Step doesn’t limit themselves. They say, “We can do a lot of stuff.” That gives a manufacturer motivation to say, “We can try them for a lot of projects.”

We didn’t initially hire Next Step because of their mission. We said, “Let’s hire them because they can produce a great product.” When Starbucks heard about Next Step’s mission they said, “We want these people on this project.” Anytime a business can engage with an organization that is bettering society, that is a really great thing.

The leadership at Next Step is very approachable. They care about what they are doing and that is really evident. They have a great work ethic. They were willing to put in the effort to ensure the project’s success. They reconfigured their space to accommodate our project. They have been flexible, worked extra hours and delivered as promised.

Q: How do they relate to their employees?
A: What I like about Next Step is that they are a faith-based organization – they express their faith – yet don’t require their employees to have faith to work there. I witnessed how they relate to their employees and was impressed with that. They are not exclusive, rather they are more inclusive.

They have really high standards for their employees. The employee has to show up, they have to be clean and they have to work. It’s really fair – they give their employees rules to work by and live by so that they can create a lot of pride in a job well-done.

I wish there were more organizations like Next Step throughout the country.

“Anytime a business can engage with an organization that is bettering society, that is a really great thing.”
- Amber Forsythe Senior Buyer/Planner, BDA Inc

Copyright 2013. Next Step West Michigan.