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45 Companies Make Largest Set of Business Commitments on Record to Hire and Train Refugees at First-Ever U.S. Business Summit on Refugees

As the U.S. welcomes tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan, Ukraine, and other parts of the world, the U.S. business community has stepped up in unprecedented ways to hire and train them. 

The first-ever U.S. Business Summit on Refugees on September 19, 2022, hosted by the Tent Partnership for Refugees in New York City, brought together dozens of America’s largest employers and most recognizable brands to announce bold commitments to hire and train refugees. During the event, companies — including Amazon, Blackstone, Hilton, ManpowerGroup, Marriott International, and Pfizer — pledged to hire over 22,000 refugees and provide training opportunities to more than 13,000 refugees across the country over the next three years.

This was the largest set of business commitments ever made on record in support of refugees.

From left: Janet Saura, VP, Employee Relations, Amazon; Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani and Founder of Tent Partnership for Refugees; Rachel Russell, SVP, Human Resources, Hilton; Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO, and John R. Tyson, EVP, Strategy & Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson Foods.

A full list of the commitments can be found here.

Commenting on the unprecedented show of support from the U.S. business community and the incredible impact it will have on refugees across the country, Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Tent and founder and CEO of Chobani, said, “Every single number that is announced is a life. It has its own story and it has an impact on generations and generations to come.”

Ulukaya served as co-host for the event alongside ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising, CEO of Pfizer Albert Bourla, and former U.S. Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez.

The program, which was moderated by Betty Liu, Chairman and CEO of D and Z Media Acquisition Corp., featured a panel during which Ulukaya and Prising spoke with Janet Saura, VP, Employee Relations, Amazon; Rachel Russell, SVP, Human Resources, Hilton; and John R. Tyson, EVP, Strategy & Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson Foods about the business benefits of refugee hiring. 

Russell noted the tremendous impression Hilton’s refugee hiring program had made on the company, saying, “…it has brought nothing but goodness into our workforce. We have enthusiastic, committed, innovative individuals that are spreading this contagious spirit amongst our workforce and they’re embodying it to our guests.”

The discussion unearthed many of the ways companies are ensuring their refugee employees are set up for success and can integrate easily into their workforces.

Janet Saura, VP, Employee Relations, Amazon, announces Amazon’s commitment to hire at least 5,000 refugees over three years in the United States.

Tyson spoke to the broad cultural diversity of Tyson Foods’ immigrant and refugee employees and how the company has welcomed them by investing in wrap-around services both within and outside the workplace. “That means free education around language skills, high school GED equivalency, and Associate, Bachelor and Master degrees,” he said, “as well as credit counseling and legal services for immigration.”

The program also featured a conversation between Julieta Noyes Valls, Assistant Secretary,  Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the U.S. Department of State and with Hilton’s Abdul Nasir Rahimi, an Afghan national who evacuated to the United States in August 2021 with his family. Resettling in the Northern Virginia area, he initially struggled to find work, but, after attending a job fair he was hired by Hilton as a safety and security manager – and has since been promoted to director. Mr. Rahimi conveyed the characteristics that refugees embody in their new workplaces and communities, including resilience and determination: “One thing I want to say to companies is, ‘Please hire refugees.’ You’ll find [they are] hard workers, smart, intelligent, and loyal.”

After recognizing each of the companies commitments made during the program, Tent CEO Gideon Maltz congratulated the businesses making commitments, saying: “Refugees want to stand on their own feet, provide for their families, put down roots in their new communities. That’s what the jobs committed today will provide.”

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