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• MNB has learned that Jax Markets, the two-store independent supermarket company that was founded by Bill MacAloney in 1970, has been sold to Gonzalez Northgate Markets, the 36-store, Anaheim-based chain.

Reuters reports that Starbucks said this morning that it is committing to hire at least 10,000 US military veterans over the next five years.

The coffee company also said that "five new and existing U.S. Starbucks cafes on or near military bases will share a portion of each sale with non-profit organizations that help veterans re-enter the workforce."

CEO Howard Schultz said that the initiative was not just about hiring baristas, but that the company "is seeking individuals with experience in everything from leading teams to building and managing complex, global supply chains."

Former US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who served in both the Bush and Obama administrations and who now is on the Starbucks board, said that veterans offer international experience and foreign language skills: "They bring an understanding of other cultures and they're accustomed to working with diverse and international partners."

Bloomberg reports that spurred on by a made-in-the-USA trend, Apple Inc. will open a new plant in Mesa, Arizona, that will hire 2,000 employees and run entirely on renewable energy.

The story notes that "after years of outsourcing much of its manufacturing to suppliers in China such as Foxconn Technology Group, Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has made adding jobs in the U.S. a priority. The Cupertino, California-based company next month will release a new Mac Pro that is being assembled in the U.S."
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