More Than 30 Major Companies Commit to Training, Hiring Afghan Refugees in U.S.

More Than 30 Major Companies Commit to Training, Hiring Afghan Refugees in U.S.

Afghan refugees wait to board buses that will take them to a processing center after arriving at Dulles International Airport in Dulles, Va., September 2, 2021. (Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters)

Thirty-three major companies have vowed to hire and train Afghan refugees arriving in the U.S., the Tent Partnership for Refugees announced Tuesday.

The companies, which include Amazon, Facebook, Pfizer and UPS, are joining the Tent Coalition for Afghan Refugees, the organization said in a press release.

The announcement by the coalition, which was founded by Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and CEO of Chobani, comes as 37,000 Afghans have arrived in the U.S. this month following a chaotic evacuation facilitated by the U.S. military ahead of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan last month.

More than half of the Afghans who have arrived in that U.S. helped the U.S. government or are related to someone who did, including both Special Immigrant Visa applicants and those who did not apply to the program, according to Axios.

However, thousands more do not have U.S. citizenship, green cards or SIVs and will stay in shelters on military bases nationwide for the time being.

“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,” Ulukaya said in a statement. “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.”

Amazon has promised to offer refugees jobs in its warehouses or transportation hubs, as well as in tech and corporate roles. It will also pay for training and education programs.

Meanwhile, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla announced the pharmaceutical giant will help by “hiring them into our workforce, to mentoring Afghan refugees and preparing them for their new workplaces.” 

California is expected to receive the largest number of Afghans at 5,255, followed by Texas at 4,481, according to State Department data obtained by Axios.

Hawaii, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wyoming are the only states that are not currently set to receive any arrivals from the first group of evacuees, as well as Washington, D.C., the outlet reported. Meanwhile, more refugees are awaiting processing in third countries.

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By: Brittany Bernstein

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