Starbucks Canada leads top Canadian companies in first-of-its-kind refugee hiring event with Tent Partnership for Refugees

TORONTO, October 31, 2019 – Today, Starbucks Canada, together with the Tent Partnership for Refugees, is hosting the first-of-its-kind Refugee Hiring Event in Toronto, connecting an impressive list of top Canadian employers with motivated newcomers. Mayor John Tory and Senator Ratna Omidvar are both showing their support of this important initiative, which quickly reached capacity at 550 refugee candidates and has a waiting list of employers; clearly demonstrating both the need for supporting refugee resettlement in Canada and the value businesses see in hiring refugees.

“Starbucks is a leading employer of refugees and made a commitment to hire 1,000 refugees by 2022. We’re currently ahead of our five-year goal, having hired ~500 refugees, in less than three years. We’ve accomplished this by using our approach that was borne out of our work from developing the Opportunity For All Youth coalition,” says Luisa Girotto, vice president, Public Affairs, Starbucks Canada. “The company has a long-standing history of working with social agencies and government bodies to create hiring programs and now we’re sharing our successes, processes and relationships with top employers in Canada.”

Participating employers include: Day & Ross Inc., Federal Express Canada Corporation, HMS HOST, IKEA Canada, Martinrea Automotive Inc., McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited, Metro Inc., Shopify, Sodexo. Staples, Wealthsimple, and World Education Services.

These companies’ efforts are being applauded by high-ranking officials close to the plight of newcomers in Canada.

“Hiring refugees is not only a good thing to do but it makes economic sense. Refugees are smart, determined and loyal,” said Senator Ratna Omidvar, who heads the Refugee Jobs Agenda Roundtable, which is the convening body that played an instrumental role in bringing together the service providers and other employers that are participating in this event. “The Refugee Hiring Event is a great initiative that will further bring refugees, service providers and enthusiastic employers together so that 100 qualified refugees are hired on the spot.”

The event is made possible by the unprecedented collaboration by ACCES Employment, YMCA-GTA, COSTI, Jumpstart-Refugee Talent, Magnet and World Education Services who are the service providers who have all either referred clients, directly prepped candidates, or provided staff resources to coordinate this event.

“Canada has shown great leadership in welcoming refugees, but more needs to be done to ensure they can be successfully integrated into the economy.” explains Ileana Cruz-Marden, Senior Manager of Private Sector Partnerships at the Tent Partnership for Refugees. “Many studies have shown that refugees are great employees – for instance, refugees have higher retention rates than non-refugee employees. It’s fantastic to see major, Tent member, companies like Starbucks and IKEA take steps to hire more refugees and realize the value they can bring to their workforce.”



About the Tent Partnership for Refugees
The Tent Partnership for Refugees, founded by Chobani’s Hamdi Ulukaya, mobilizes the business community to improve the lives and livelihoods of nearly 26 million refugees forcibly displaced from their home countries. Tent believes that the business community is uniquely positioned to address the global refugee crisis by mobilizing the networks, resources, innovation, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the business community – and that companies have the greatest impact they leverage their core business operations to hire refugees, integrate them into supply chains, invest in refugees, and deliver services to them. Tent has over 130 members. Learn more about Tent:

About Starbucks
Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at


For more information
Maxine McDonald
Account Director
Media Profile
[email protected]

Ashley McGuire
Senior Consultant
Media Profile
[email protected]

Become a Member

Join a network of companies supporting refugees and benefit from our member services.

Get Started