PRESS RELEASE: 45 Major Companies Commit to Hiring Over 20,000 Refugees at Tent Business Summit
- Amazon, Blackstone, Hilton, ManpowerGroup, Marriott International, and Pfizer among brands pledging support for refugees across the U.S.
NEW YORK, September 19, 2022 – With the United States welcoming tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan, Ukraine, and other crises, today, dozens of America’s largest employers and best-known brands are announcing new commitments to hire 22,725 refugees in full time positions in the U.S., helping to advance the economic and social integration of refugees across the country. This is the most significant set of business commitments in support of refugees on record.
The U.S. Business Summit on Refugees, organized by the Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) — a network of 260 major businesses committed to supporting the economic integration of refugees — brings together leading companies including Amazon, Hilton, PepsiCo, Pfizer, and Tyson Foods, to announce commitments to hire and train thousands of refugees in the United States over the next three years. The Summit is the first in a series of milestones to continue to mobilize companies in support of refugees.
“The American business community is showing incredible leadership, and I am so proud of the companies standing up for refugees today,” said Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani and founder of Tent. “These companies will benefit from welcoming these hard-working, loyal, and resilient individuals – but my hope is that this is only the beginning. As refugee crises start to fade from the headlines, companies must recognize that hiring refugees is not only the right thing to do, but also the smart thing to do.”
The United States is set to welcome hundreds of thousands of refugees in the coming years, including almost 100,000 Afghans by the end of 2022, 100,000 Ukrainians who have fled Russia’s invasion, and up to 125,000 refugees per year from other parts of the world who will arrive through the resettlement program. As refugees in the U.S. often face significant challenges finding work – including language barriers, difficulty certifying their credentials, and lack of a professional network – business leadership is critical to help refugees secure jobs.
Among the commitments companies are announcing today:
- Amazon will hire at least 5,000 refugees over three years
- ManpowerGroup will place 3,000 refugees in jobs at its corporate clients over three years
- Tyson Foods will hire 2,500 refugees over three years
- Blackstone portfolio companies and real estate properties will hire 2,000 refugees over three years
- Hilton will hire 1,500 refugees over three years
- Marriott International will hire 1,500 refugees over three years
- Cargill will hire 1,000 refugees over three years
- Gategroup will hire 1,000 refugees over three years
- ISS will hire 1,000 refugees over three years
- Hyatt will hire 500 refugees over three years
- PepsiCo will hire 500 refugees over three years
- Pfizer will hire 500 refugees over three years
“We believe that Amazon is a stronger company because of the diversity of our workforce, and we actively seek to hire people with different backgrounds, skill sets, and levels of experience. Being displaced from your homeland and having to start again somewhere is never easy, which is why we are committed to helping where we can, by providing refugees and other displaced people with access to meaningful employment, as well as immigration support, through our Welcome Door program. It’s our privilege to help people make a new start.”, said Janet Saura, VP, Employee Relations, WW Amazon Stores and Corporate.
“Our experience connecting refugees with meaningful work across Europe tells us that finding a job is a critical first step for people to get settled, build relationships and integrate themselves and their families into new communities,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO. “We believe collective partnership is critical to achieve impact at scale and we are pleased to partner with Tent in mobilizing the business community to improve the lives and livelihoods of millions of refugees. This is how we will create a path to sustainable employment so refugees can rebuild their lives and improve their prospects for a better future.”
The following companies are making additional hiring commitments: Accenture, Aimbridge Hospitality, Albea, Amcor, Atento, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Carrols, Chobani, Deloitte, Fedex, Gap Inc., Genpact, Graham Packaging, Great Lakes Cheese, Henry Schein, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Kellogg, Kimball Midwest, La Colombe, Mastercorp, Oneida Nation Enterprises, Panda Express, Red Roof, Silgan Dispensing, Sodexo, Spencer’s & Spirit Halloween, Sumitomo Electric, The Body Shop, Transdev, US Xpress.
These hiring commitments are estimated to generate $913 million in income for refugees in the U.S. each year. They will not only help thousands of refugees start their new lives in the U.S. with security and dignity, but also harness the skills and resilience of refugees to strengthen the U.S. workforce, fill key labor gaps, and boost the economy.
In addition, LinkedIn, Coursera, Ipsos, and others, are announcing commitments to provide 13,850 refugees with training opportunities, which will help them gain a better understanding of the U.S. job market, develop skills, and grow their professional networks.
A complete list of the commitments can be found here.
Tent has been active in the U.S. since its founding in 2016. In September 2021, in the wake of the mass evacuation of Afghans to the United States, Tent launched its Coalition for Refugees in the U.S. – which now counts more than 110 U.S. employers – to provide companies with U.S.-specific guidance and resources on how to set up effective refugee hiring and training programs.
APPENDIX 1: ADDITIONAL QUOTES
Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Blackstone: “At Blackstone, we believe diverse teams make stronger companies. Our unique platform has already supported nearly 500 jobs for refugees globally, bringing valuable talent into our portfolio’s workforces. We are proud to announce this commitment and will work hand in hand with on-the-ground teams at our portfolio companies and properties.”
Kathleen McCarthy, Global Co-Head of Blackstone Real Estate: “Blackstone’s advantage lies in our deeply integrated approach to building resilient companies and properties, and doing so at scale. Today’s commitment to 2,000 refugee hires across our portfolio reflects tremendous focus on this effort from our team and allows our portfolio companies and real estate properties to welcome a powerful spectrum of backgrounds, identities and experiences.”
Dr. Tjuan Dogan, Global Director, Social Impact, Coursera: “Universal access to world-class learning is critical for social change. By offering Coursera’s learning resources for free, refugees can access high-quality education that supports personal development, career advancement, and economic opportunity. We’re proud to partner with the Tent Partnership for Refugees on this transformational, multi-year initiative.”
Laura Fuentes, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hilton: “Creating a place where all are welcome is a part of Hilton’s DNA and has long guided the investments we’ve made in those seeking career opportunities in hospitality, including refugees, military families, youth, and others. Hilton has committed to creating 5 million learning and career opportunities for team members and communities by 2030, and we are proud to partner with Tent and commit to hiring 1,500 refugees in the U.S. during the next three years to help build these inclusive career pathways across the industry.”
Malaika Myers, Chief Human Resources Officer, Hyatt: “At Hyatt, we understand that starting life in a new country is not easy, but steady employment and feeling a sense of belonging are key to a smooth transition. We’re proud to create a culture of care and opportunity for refugees through jobs at Hyatt properties around the world, which can grow into life-long careers. Most importantly, Hyatt hotels strive to give our global colleagues the space to be their fullest selves – embracing their cultures and ethnicities as a reflection of the world for which we care.”
Raymond Co, SVP of HR Americas & Global Learning, IHG Hotels & Resorts: “Part of IHG’s ‘Journey to Tomorrow’ 10-year responsible business plan is our commitment to improving the lives of 30 million people in our communities around the world. As one of the world’s leading hotel brands, we recognize the opportunity to fulfill open roles at IHG hotels with refugees entering the communities we serve. Our partnership with Tent, which includes hotel guidance for hiring refugees, hospitality skills training in local languages, and now our most recent commitment to hiring refugees, demonstrates our company purpose of providing True Hospitality for Good.”
Katrine Husum Jensen, Head of People & Culture, ISS Americas: “As a people-centric organization that operates in more than 30 countries, ISS recognizes our ability to be a force for good in providing opportunities and a chance for stability for so many people fleeing global disruptions. We view this commitment as part of our mission to fostering safe, inclusive work environments.”
Ty Breland, Chief Human Resources Officer, Marriott International: “To support our unwavering commitment to empowering through opportunity, we’re proud to set a goal to hire at least 1,500 refugees in the U.S. by 2025. At Marriott International, we welcome all – it’s part of our DNA, and fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone belongs is how we can achieve our purpose of connecting people through the power of travel. We’ve seen firsthand that welcoming refugees enriches our business and communities. We look forward to continuing our work with The Tent Partnership for Refugees and making a lasting impact.”
Ray Halbritter, Chief Executive Officer, Oneida Nation Enterprises: “Hospitality is a core value of the Oneida Indian Nation, which has a legacy of welcoming and supporting refugees. We currently employ more than 250 refugees who speak 14 different languages, which is the foundation of providing diverse and dynamic experiences across our enterprises. With valued partners like Tent and locally with The Center and Interfaith Works, we are committed to more than doubling our refugee workforce and offer unique benefits such as affordable employee housing, free transportation to work and industry-leading pay.”
Ronald Schellekens, EVP & Chief Human Resources Officer, PepsiCo: “The work of the Tent Partnership for Refugees to support Ukrainian refugees is critical, and today’s announcement is evidence of the key role the business community can play to help support those who have been displaced and create a bridge to opportunity. We believe we are positioned to help make a meaningful impact and are proud to stand with Tent and its partners in a commitment to hire 500 refugees in the United States over the next three years, which builds on work PepsiCo is already doing to support this community through mentoring and job opportunities in Western Europe.”
John R. Tyson, EVP Strategy & Chief Sustainability Officer, Tyson Foods: “We have a workforce with many people who recently immigrated to the U.S, and we are proud of the programs and initiatives we have developed in order to help our team members grow in their careers, including those who are new to the U.S. We’re excited to announce our commitment to hire 2,500 refugees over the next few years to join Tyson Foods, and we are proud to play our part in promoting a society that is welcoming and supportive of people from all backgrounds.”
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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 260 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.