The United States takes in more refugees than any other country in the world—though that is likely to change when the new Trump administration takes over. In the middle of the largest displacement crisis in history, with 11 million Syrians alone fleeing violence, there will be a greater role for businesses to play.
In June, the White House launched a program called the "Partnership for Refugees." Created with support from Accenture, among others, it calls for U.S.-based companies to pledge to assist with education, humanitarian-aid financing, and most crucially, job placement. By September, 51 companies had signed on. Some have vowed to hire refugees directly—joining a handful of companies, such as Chipotle and Starwood, who have already been working with resettlement agencies to do so.
Though the initiative was launched by the State Department, leadership was transferred on November 1 to the Tent Foundation, a private organization led by Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya. No matter what the future brings, these companies will continue to work with those who have already made it to safe harbor.
Pledge: Continue its current hiring practices: Nearly 30% of yogurt-factory employees are resettled refugees.
Pledge: Help refugees in the U.S. build language and cultural skills, and look for opportunities to hire them within the life-sciences and materials company.
Pledge: Assist refugees in obtaining financial certifications and jobs at its firm. Resettled refugees make up half the Idaho-based startup’s current workforce.
Pledge: Open a new tech center in Jordan, doubling the number of refugees the app-building agency employs. (Based in the U.S., Lynke hires refugees in conflict regions to work on projects for tech companies, and separately helps connect refugees with tech jobs.)
Pledge: Recruit qualified refugees to work in its consulting-firm outposts in the U.K., Germany, France, and Italy.
Pledge: Help resettled refugees in the U.S. find jobs as drivers.
A version of this article appeared in the December 2016/January 2017 issue of Fast Company magazine.