24 Leading Companies Join New U.S. Initiative to Help Hispanic Refugees Advance Their Careers

Career Climbers / 23rd October 2023

The Tent Partnership for Refugees (Tent) – a global network of more than 300 companies committed to creating economic opportunity for refugees – has announced a new mentorship initiative in partnership with the National Hispanic Corporate Council (NHCC) that will help Hispanic refugees in the U.S. enter the workforce or advance in their careers.

The U.S. has welcomed hundreds of thousands of forcibly displaced people from Latin America over the past decade – including from VenezuelaCubaNicaragua, and the Northern Triangle – and Tent’s Hispanic Refugee Mentorship Program will provide these newcomers with professional mentorship opportunities. By engaging employees at major companies – primarily through Hispanic employee resource groups – as mentors, this new initiative will accelerate the economic integration of Hispanic refugees in the U.S.

At a virtual event moderated by Lilia Luciano of CBS News, the inaugural cohort of 24 companies announced their participation: Accenture, Aimbridge Hospitality, Bank of America, Bloomberg, Chobani, Cisco, Diageo North America, Gap Inc., Google, Henry Schein, Hilton, ISS, Kyndryl, Marriott International, Merck, Mondelez, Panda Restaurant Group, Pfizer, Philips, SAP, Sodexo, TelevisaUnivision, Tyson Foods, and Uber. Each company has committed to mentoring a minimum of 50 Hispanic refugees over three years, collectively reaching at least 1,200 refugees in that time, and Tent welcomes any other companies interested in joining this timely initiative to get in touch.

“Thanks to new and innovative legal pathways, the United States today is welcoming historically-high numbers of individuals fleeing repression in VenezuelaCuba, and Nicaragua. These individuals are eager to build new lives for themselves and their families, yet many lack the social and professional networks needed to enter the labor market, and may not qualify for the government-funded support provided by traditional refugee-resettlement agencies,” said Gideon Maltz, CEO of Tent. “Tent’s new Hispanic Refugee Mentorship Program can help fill this gap and help mentees gain the professional guidance they need to build their careers here.”

Hispanic refugees participating in the program as mentees will each be connected with a dedicated mentor who will champion their career growth and provide individualized guidance across topics such as navigating the U.S. job market and workplace norms, crafting an effective resume, practicing for job interviews, expanding their professional network, and more. The program will be offered in both Spanish and English to ensure that Hispanic mentees are able to participate in the program in their preferred language.

“What Tent and the NHCC have created with this mentoring initiative can help accelerate refugees’ economic integration,” said Julieta Valls Noyes, Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration of the U.S. Department of State. “No matter how skilled, qualified, or motivated a refugee is when he or she arrives, the kind of support this initiative provides will be transformative.”

“Fostering mentorship opportunities can be transformative. It’s a powerful way that we can help Hispanic refugees build careers in the communities we serve,” said Calandra Jarrell, Senior Vice President, Diversity and Inclusion Executive at Bank of America. “Our teammates, including the nearly 20,000 members of our Multicultural Leadership Network (MLN) and our Hispanic employee network, HOLA, are eager to cultivate meaningful professional relationships that will help Hispanic refugees succeed in the workplace.”

Eduardo Arabu, CEO of the National Hispanic Corporate Council, said“We take immense pride in our partnership with Tent and urge even more companies nationwide to participate in this initiative. We’re confident that this program will lead to meaningful employment opportunities for Hispanic refugees in the U.S. and will offer a valuable avenue for companies to enhance employee engagement and community relations via their Hispanic ERGs.”

This initiative builds on Tent’s suite of mentorship programs around the world, including ones supporting Afghan refugees and refugee women in the U.S.; LGBTQ refugees in North America, the U.K. and Germany; and refugee women in Europe, which collectively have mobilized more than 100 companies to mentor more than 7,000 refugees. Recently announced funding from PayPal, The Starbucks Foundation, and Tyson Foods has enabled Tent’s expansion of its U.S. mentorship programs.

Companies interested in joining the Hispanic Refugee Mentorship Program in the U.S. can find out more by emailing info@tent.org, and can view Tent’s mentorship guide here.

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