September 15, 2021


The Coalition will connect Afghan refugees to jobs as they arrive and resettle in America

Washington, D.C.– As America welcomes tens of thousands of Afghan refugees, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced the formation of the Coalition for Afghan Refugee Employment in the U.S. in partnership with the nation’s leading businesses. American employers including Amazon, UPS and Walmart are stepping up to join the Coalition and offer these refugees one of the most essential tools for resettlement, security, and opportunity: a job.

The Coalition will harness the capabilities and networks of the Foundation’s Corporate Citizenship Center and Hiring Our Heroes initiative. Aided by the Foundation’s unparalleled ability to convene employers for greater collective impact in communities across the country, the Coalition aims to connect tens of thousands of Afghan refugees with the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s network of employers and employment readiness services over the next six months.

"At the Foundation, we know what a job means to an individual and to a community. It means dignity, opportunity, stability and hope for a better future," said Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. "Helping meet the urgent needs of Afghan refugees will require all hands to work together. Through this effort, we’re proud to bring American businesses together to fill a critical need – supporting the resilience and financial independence of Afghan refugees who are starting a new life in the U.S."

The Coalition for Afghan Refugee Employment in the U.S. is established to support the immediate employment needs of newly settled Afghan refugees and its work will exclusively focus on facilitating U.S. jobs for this group.

“The outpouring of support for our Afghan allies from all sectors of society mirrors our whole-of-government approach to this resettlement mission,” said Robert Fenton, senior response official of Operation Allies Welcome, the effort led by the Department of Homeland Security to resettle Afghan refugees. “Successful integration and resettlement for Afghans hinges on a number of key factors, chief among them the ability to independently support their families. I am excited to see the Coalition for Afghan Refugee Employment in the U.S. standing ready to assist these individuals as they find a future in their new home.”

As part of its efforts to support Afghan refugees, the Coalition has also joined Welcome.US, a new digital hub and national campaign to mobilize the American people around welcoming Afghan refugees after they are evacuated. U.S. Chamber Foundation President Carolyn Cawley will serve on the campaign’s National Welcome Council, alongside a group of outstanding cross-sector leaders including former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, among others. “We know that our new Afghan neighbors will contribute immeasurably to the country, including in the workforce,” said Cecilia Muñoz and John Bridgeland, co-chairs of Welcome.US. “We are thrilled to partner with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to help Afghan newcomers find jobs.”