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8 Feb 2016

Jake Horowitz, Mic (USA)

Chobani CEO calls on fellow business leaders to hire & integrate refugees into workforce

"Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya Has a Message on Refugees Every Business Needs to Hear", 5 Feb 2016

While finding political solutions to the Syrian refugee crisis remains an ongoing challenge, [Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya] believes the business sector can do more in the short-term to help address the crisis...In 2015, Ulukaya founded Tent, a foundation devoted to raising awareness on refugees. As a part of that effort, he launched two different initiatives: the Tent Pledge, asking companies to provide refugees with job training and employment opportunities, and the Tent Challenge, providing grants to entrepreneurs who can devise solutions to the crisis...Although the program is still in its infancy, Ulukaya says 12 companies have signed onto the pledge...Contrary to the threatening way refugees are often depicted in the media, Ulukaya said his own personal story, coupled with his experience hiring immigrants, has convinced him that the vast majority of refugees can be hardworking and productive members of society...In fact, Ulukaya says hiring immigrants has been positive for Chobani's business. "There are a lot of studies coming out that show that hiring refugees is not a burden in the long run," he told Mic. "It's an opportunity for the community."...Ulukaya emphasized that despite the challenges, he remains confident that doing more to hire and integrate refugees is important not only for humanitarian reasons, but also to fuel business' bottom line...