Jamba Juice Expanding Into Schools, Hiring: CEO

Jamba Juice is going to school in a big way, CEO James White told CNBC Thursday.

Jamba Juice
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Jamba Juice

The juice and smoothie chain is "making a major push in the schools," he said, expecting to put its JambaGo kiosks in 400 to 500 schools by the end of the year. The company has already opened 30 kiosks in a pilot program.

At a time when many schools are trying to ban sodas and are taking a hard look at what they feed students, White said he is "excited because we think we're one of the solutions to the current fight."

"We applaud the change in school nutritionals," White said.

The company also welcomes the competition expected from Starbucks, White said. Starbucks began selling its Evolution juices in its coffee stores and in a standalone store in Bellevue, Wash., last week.

"Jamba has a 22-year head start over Starbucks," with 700 stores selling its fresh juices and juice blends. "We’re very confident in our capabilities in this space."

White talked to CNBC during the company's national hiring day. The company has pledged to hire 2,500 people for temporary summer jobs at its stores in 20 cities as part of the Obama Administration's 2012 Summer Jobs+ effort. He said some of those people "will join us on a permanent basis."

Jamba participated in the program last summer as well, and hired 8 percent more workers last year than it originally pledged.

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