PRESS RELEASE: Tent Partnership for Refugees and Hiring Our Heroes announce new mentorship initiative mobilizing veterans to help Afghan refugees enter the U.S. workforce
- Additional mentorship programs to support refugee women in partnership with Catalyst, as well as program to support Spanish-speaking refugees, to launch in 2023
New York City, August 25, 2022 – Today, the Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent), a network of more than 250 major companies committed to supporting refugees’ economic integration, and Hiring Our Heroes, an initiative from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation which connects the military community with American businesses to create diversified workforces, announced a new initiative to provide professional mentorship opportunities for Afghan refugees in the U.S.
As we approach the one-year anniversary of over 75,000 Afghans being evacuated to the U.S. – including many who had previously worked alongside the U.S. military – Tent and Hiring our Heroes will launch a new mentorship program to connect veterans employed at major companies with Afghan refugees who are looking to advance their careers. The program will provide Afghan refugees with practical skills and knowledge on topics such as the job search process, drafting an effective resume, and navigating the U.S. workplace, while also helping to build their social and professional networks.
Veteran employees in the U.S. who serve as mentors will play an important role in the resettlement journey of their Afghan mentees, and will be presented with an opportunity for personal growth and fulfillment. According to research by More in Common, a majority of veterans, and most veterans of Afghanistan, say opportunities to help resettle Afghan allies would improve their mental health or wellbeing.
Gideon Maltz, Executive Director of Tent, said: “Tent has been working with more than 100 companies in the U.S. to place Afghan refugees into jobs as quickly as possible. But while critical, these first jobs are not always commensurate with the skills and experience that many Afghans bring. This mentorship initiative can be a bridge to higher-skilled roles – with support and guidance from mentors, refugees can accelerate their understanding of the U.S. job market, gain critical skills, and build a professional network that can introduce them to a vast array of new opportunities.”
“Hiring Our Heroes is honored to take part in this initiative. As members of the military community have done in the past, they will once again step up to support the Afghan community,” said Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Facing similar workforce challenges, veterans and military spouses have also found themselves underemployed. This initiative will offer them the opportunity to share with refugees how they have overcome those challenges.”
In addition to the tens of thousands of Afghans that have arrived in the U.S., the Biden Administration has pledged to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainians and 125,000 refugees from other parts of the world over the next year. To address the growing need, in 2023 Tent will launch two additional professional mentorship initiatives. The first will focus on reaching refugee women, who often face a double burden navigating the workforce – as refugees and as women. This program expands Tent’s existing mentorship initiative in Europe in partnership with Catalyst – a nonprofit that helps build workplaces that work for women – through which 25 companies have already collectively committed to mentoring 1,250 women over three years.
“We know that mentoring relationships can help build the connection, care, and skills necessary to create opportunities for women in the workplace,” said Lorraine Hariton, president and CEO of Catalyst. “We’re proud to partner with Tent to expand access to mentoring relationships and help create workplaces that are equitable for all.”
Secondly, Tent will launch a program to provide professional mentorship opportunities to Spanish-speaking refugees.
These new initiatives in the U.S. build on Tent’s successful mentorship programs for LGBTQ refugees in North America, the U.K., and Germany, through which more than 50 companies have collectively pledged to mentor nearly 3,000 refugees over three years.
Companies interested in joining Tent’s new refugee mentorship initiatives should email [email protected].
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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 36 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 250 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.
About Hiring our Heroes
Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) is a 501(c)3 organization under the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The non-profit launched in March 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, HOH has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment through its comprehensive training and hiring events, fellowship programs, and online tools. HOH programs and services are available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and on military installations worldwide. For more information on programming and initiatives: HiringOurHeroes.org; @HiringOurHeroes on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Catalyst is a global nonprofit supported by many of the world’s most powerful CEOs and leading companies to help build workplaces that work for women. Founded in 1962, Catalyst drives change with preeminent thought leadership, actionable solutions and a galvanized community of multinational corporations to accelerate and advance women into leadership — because progress for women is progress for everyone. Find out more at www.catalyst.org.