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Amazon's support model for refugees

Words by Smiley Team

Amazon has launched an employee support programme for refugees. Its 'Welcome Door' is an initiative to provide refugee and humanitarian-based immigrant employees with additional resources and support

“At Amazon, we have a variety of jobs and welcome all kinds of people, and we’re proud to offer enhanced support for refugees around the world,” said Ofori Agboka, Amazon’s vice president of People, Experience and Tech for Operations.

“Being displaced from your homeland and having to start again somewhere new is challenging and emotional. It is an honor and a privilege to help to make that transition easier and help people start again. Across our entire business and at all levels, we’re working with refugees to secure jobs and get the support they need.”

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Once arrived in their new communities, refugees often face challenges when seeking jobs and resettlement support. In addition to language barriers and limited government resources, refugees with professional experience often have gaps in their careers, which can limit their knowledge of the latest developments within an industry, according to Upwardly Global, a nonprofit that helps refugees rebuild their careers.

Through the new Welcome Door program, Amazon’s refugee and humanitarian-based immigrant employees will have access to several new resources, including: a new Citizenship Assistance Portal that will fully support U.S. citizenship applications for all eligible employees; ongoing communications that will highlight policy changes that may impact an employee’s immigration status; free legal resources to help navigate immigration-related questions and the ability to connect with immigration experts; and access to skills training benefits including free college tuition and English as a Second Language (ESL) proficiency through Amazon’s Career Choice program.

These new resources will be offered to Amazon employees in the U.S. starting next month, and the company plans to expand the program globally by the end of the year.

“We’re very proud of Amazon’s commitment to better support its refugee employees, joining other companies in the Tent Partnership that are going above and beyond to give refugees the help they need to integrate into their new communities,” said Veronica Rossini, acting executive director at the Tent Partnership for Refugees.

For more information about Amazon’s Welcome Door program on its website

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