With the U.S. welcoming tens of thousands of refugees from Afghanistan, Ukraine and other crises, dozens of America’s largest employers and best-known brands, including several hospitality companies, have made new commitments to hire 22,725 refugees in full-time positions, 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 Hilton, Marriott, Hyatt and Blackstone to reveal commitments to hire and train thousands of refugees in the U.S. 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, Chobani and founder, 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.”
Laura Fuentes, chief HR officer, Hilton, added, “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.”
“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,” said Malaika Myers, chief HR officer, Hyatt. “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, HR, Americas & global learning, IHG Hotels & Resorts, added, “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.”
“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,” said Ty Breland, chief HR officer, Marriott International. “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.”
Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman/CEO, Blackstone, added, “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.”
“Hospitality is a core value of the Oneida Indian Nation, which has a legacy of welcoming and supporting refugees,” said Ray Halbritter, CEO, Oneida Nation Enterprises. “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.”
The U.S. 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 at the summit are:
- 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
- Hyatt will hire 500 refugees over three years
The following companies are making additional hiring commitments: Aimbridge Hospitality, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Oneida Nation Enterprises and Red Roof.
The hiring commitments among all of the companies 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 have committed 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.