PRESS RELEASE: 30+ Major Companies Join the Tent Coalition for Afghan Refugees
Companies including Amazon, Facebook, and Pfizer Have Committed to Create Economic Opportunity for Afghans in the U.S.
New York, September 21 2021 – As the U.S. welcomes tens of thousands of refugees fleeing Afghanistan, 33 major companies — including Amazon, Facebook, Pfizer, and Tyson Foods — today announced that they will join the Tent Coalition for Afghan Refugees, pledging to help create economic opportunities for Afghans as they start their new lives in America.
The new coalition is spearheaded by the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a network of over 180 global businesses integrating refugees. As part of this new commitment, some of America’s biggest employers will create job opportunities, provide training and other resources to help Afghans better integrate into the American economy — a fundamental component for Afghans’ successful resettlement in the U.S.
“America is at a critical juncture, and every part of our society must play its part to welcome our Afghan brothers and sisters. They have stood by our side, and we must stand by theirs,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder and CEO of Chobani and Founder of the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “I am so proud of the businesses stepping up today — and hope that many more will join our coalition. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again — the moment a refugee gets a job, it’s the moment they stop being a refugee. It’s the moment they can stand on their own two feet; it’s the moment they can make new friends; it’s the moment they can start a new life.”
The 33 companies span sectors from tech to retail, and from food service to consulting — showing the broad swath of support for Afghan refugees among the business community, and the diversity of job opportunities that will be offered. They include: Accenture, the Adecco Group, Amazon, APCO, Bain & Company, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Chobani, Coursera, Deloitte, Facebook, Gap Inc., General Assembly, Henry Schein, Inc., Hilton, HP, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Ipsos, Jacobs, Kleen-Tech, Mastercard, Panda Express, Pfizer, Rejuvenation – a Williams-Sonoma, Inc. brand, ServiceNow, Sitel Group®, Sodexo, Tripadvisor, Tyson Foods, Uber, UPS, US Xpress, Wayfair, and Western Union.
Amazon has already undertaken remarkable efforts to include refugees in its U.S. workforce, hiring refugees from all nationalities at its fulfilment and transportation centers, and training and placing high-skilled refugees in corporate roles across different business teams. Amazon jobs in fulfillment and transportation offer an average starting wage of more than $18 per hour, comprehensive benefits for full time employees starting on the first day on the job, and access to Amazon’s Career Choice program through which the company will fund full college tuition, high school completion, or English as a Second Language proficiency certification. In addition, Amazon provides skills training opportunities to refugees through AWS re/Start, a free full-time, 12-week program that prepares unemployed or underemployed individuals for careers in cloud computing and connects more than 90% of graduates with job interview opportunities as part of the company’s pledge to invest $1.2 billion in skills training programs by 2025.
“As part of our diverse workforce, Amazon continually hires immigrants and refugees across the company, and we’re proud to partner with Tent to extend our reach,” said Beth Galetti, Amazon’s Senior Vice President of People eXperience and Technology. “We are committed to expanding and improving on these efforts and providing employment support for the refugee population, including the imminent need for Afghan refugees.”
Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, said: “At Pfizer, we recognize the critical needs of people all around the world, and we firmly believe that every individual should be heard, seen, and cared for. This is why we are proud to join the Tent Coalition for Afghan Refugees, and will be undertaking a number of projects in support of Afghan refugees and Special Immigrants – from hiring them into our workforce, to mentoring Afghan refugees and preparing them for their new workplaces.”
Supporting at-risk Afghans is an issue Americans agree upon; a recent poll found that an overwhelming majority — 81% — feel the U.S. should support Afghans who worked with our troops. In addition, a bipartisan group of governors, from Utah, to Arkansas, to Colorado, have been outspoken about welcoming Afghans into their communities.
As part of the whole nation’s effort in support of Afghan refugees, the Tent Coalition for Afghan Refugees partners with Welcome.US, a national initiative to engage and mobilize all Americans to welcome and support Afghan refugees. The Coalition also supports the U.S. Government’s long-term vision of economic and social integration.
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About the Tent Partnership for Refugees
With more and more refugees displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a critical role to play in helping refugees integrate economically in their new host communities. The Tent Partnership for Refugees mobilizes the global business community to improve the lives and livelihoods of more than 30 million refugees who have been forcibly displaced from their home countries. Founded by Chobani’s founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya in 2016, we are a network of over 180 major companies committed to including refugees. Tent believes that companies can most sustainably support refugees by leveraging their core business operations – by engaging refugees as potential employees, entrepreneurs and consumers. The full list of Tent members can be found here. Find out more at www.tent.org.