The Intel Foundation has made a $1 million grant to the International Rescue Committee to retrain 1,000 refugees in Germany for jobs in the tech sector through a program called Project CORE (Creating Opportunities for Refugee Employment), Ben Paynter reports at Fast Company:
In general, the training program will have several tracks that allow trainees to first gain the sort of basic skills they may need to gain entry-level jobs, (and immediate income) in data entry, programming, and IT work. Then, many will hopefully move on to advance their education through other services that will be offered. …
Trainees won’t necessarily be limited to just Germany-based jobs either. Having strong computer skills means that refugees who have other commitments at home or need flexible hours can join international companies or the gig economy. Even if no one worked remote, though, there are enough jobs for everyone in Germany. IRC and Intel have studied the country’s economy and, unlike resettlement areas in Jordan, there’s a booming tech sector that’s hungry for new employees.
Germany has taken in more than 1.5 million refugees from war-torn countries like Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan since 2015. The lack of stable work for these refugees, many of whom are young men, has contributed to high levels of unemployment within the refugee community as well as a relatively high incidence of violent crime. If it proves successful, Project CORE could go a long way toward improving the quality of life for Germany’s refugees and their families, in addition to helping address the talent shortage in the European tech sector.
Chobani's Hamdi Ulukaya (Michael Gonda/Wikimedia Commons)
Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya has made a point of ensuring that the public knows how much he cares about his employees: About a year ago, he announced that he was giving them stakes in the company, to be taken out of his own shares, and last October, Chobani joined the growing ranks of US employers expanding their parental leave policies for both mothers and fathers.
Ulukaya, who was born in Turkey and emigrated to the US in 1994, has also been a vocal critic of President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. In February, Chobani was one of a few non-tech companies to sign onto an amicus brief in opposition to Trump’s executive order temporarily banning citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from entering the US and suspending the admission of refugees; it is also one of several companies that have committed to hiring refugees from Syria and other war-torn countries this year.
If Ulukaya wanted attention for these stances, he certainly got it. The CEO appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program Sunday evening, where he defended his refugee hiring program with the memorable line: “The minute they get a job, that’s the minute they stop being a refugee.” He was also profiled in a cover story for the April issue of Fast Company, which focused on his conscientious approach to how he manages his business and his own wealth:
Chobani has always given 10% of its profits to charitable causes, and Ulukaya is eager to help the communities in which his company operates (in 2011, he renovated a public baseball field near his upstate New York plant, for example). Chobani also pays above-average wages, and that new family-leave policy offers full pay for any new parent, including foster and adoptive parents. Ulukaya has put a great deal of thought into cultivating a spirit of warmth and enthusiasm that most people wouldn’t associate with working in a factory, and when you spend time at the company’s plants, the positivity is obvious.
While Ulukaya and his company earned these favorable media mentions rather than buying them, that doesn’t mean they weren’t part of its public relations strategy. Ad Age‘s Jessica Wohl explains the role earned media is playing in Chobani’s new marketing campaign: