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Why Leading U.S. Companies are Committed to Hiring Refugees

October 13, 2022 — Modern Economy Project

From this nation’s founding, America has been a place of refuge for people in pursuit of a better life.

That remains true today. Within the past year, nearly 200,000 refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine alone have been admitted to the U.S.

For all the changes to the American workforce over the past three centuries, one thing remains the same: immigrants are part of the lifeblood of our economy.

Successful businesses recognize this reality. That’s why 45 of the nation’s largest employers, including Amazon, Hilton, Marriott, PepsiCo, Pfizer, and Tyson Foods, pledged at a recent summit organized by the Tent Partnership for Refugees to hire 22,275 refugees over three years. This pledge also included commitments to provide nearly 14,000 refugees with training opportunities to develop skills and their professional networks.

These employers recognize that hiring refugees isn’t just the right thing to do. It’s also a smart business strategy.

As the Tent Partnership notes, refugees in the U.S. often face significant challenges finding work due to language barriers, difficulties certifying their credentials, and lack of existing professional networks.

This struggle is all the more painful for refugees because finding a job is a critical way to integrate themselves and their families into new communities.

Meanwhile, these companies stand to benefit from hiring people who’ve already proved themselves to be determined and resilient.

That’s why hiring people displaced by conflict is a win-win for everyone involved.

Take the case of Shahid Mohammadi. He's an Afghan refugee who evacuated from Kabul in August of last year as U.S. troops pulled out of the country. He was a soldier in the Afghan Special Forces and fought alongside U.S. Marines.

Mohammadi now works at Amazon's DRI1 delivery station in Providence, Rhode Island, where he scans items and prepares them for shipping.

Mohammadi’s dream is to eventually become a software development engineer at Amazon. He is currently taking English classes and plans to begin computer programming studies.

"I am doing all of this so that I can support my parents and siblings back in Afghanistan, bring them here someday, and build a beautiful life for us," Mohammadi said in his testimonial.

The world is now seeing the highest levels of displacement on record, according to the United Nations. And the number of refugees is likely to continue to increase due to war, persecution, climate change and natural disasters.

The reality is that employers are only as strong as the communities in which they operate. That's why modern employers are increasingly finding ways to give back to their employees and their communities.

By welcoming new Americans, these employers are embracing our country’s founding principles to strengthen our modern economy.

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