Upwardly Global Activates Business Community to Integrate Afghan Newcomers Into U.S. Workforce

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The American business community has a vital role to play in the current Afghan humanitarian crisis, and Upwardly Global is well positioned to not only empower newly arrived Afghans, but to engage Employers who would like to take action. On August 26th, 2021, we convened our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Employer Working Group of 50+ employers for an emergency briefing on the Afghan crisis to orient the private sector to the dire situation in Kabul, what to expect on American soil, and how employers have the unique ability to activate their resources and open their pipelines to this population.

Upwardly Global is actively working with U.S. government agencies, refugee resettlement agencies, immigrant serving organizations, and veterans organizations like No One Left Behind.  We are engaging over 30 corporations to utilize existing programs and explore new ways to support Afghan arrivals — including co-designing special hiring, training, mentorship/volunteering, and intern/return-ships initiatives. We are encouraged by the efforts of many of our employer partners to take action — such as swiftly adapting veteran hiring models to include this incoming population. We’d like to acknowledge that the vital work we’re doing to transform the lives of Afghan newcomers is done in partnership with new and longstanding UpGlo employer partners and collaborators:


Amazon and AWS





New York-Presbyterian

Since 2008, Upwardly Global has worked with 2,000 Afghan and Iraqi Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients to help rebuild their careers in the U.S., moving them from unemployment and underemployment into professional roles in the IT, engineering, business operations, and non-profit sectors. Today, over 120  of our active job seekers today are SIVs, and that number is growing.

UpGlo is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to integrating foreign-trained immigrants and refugees, including Afghan refugees and SIVs, into the U.S. workforce. These newcomers face barriers at each step of the job search process including lack of professional networks, resume gaps, and often compounding factors due to their race and immigrant status (75% of UpGlo jobseekers identify with communities of color). At the same time, employers face another set of unique challenges in filling 5M open roles, skills shortages, and recruiting and hiring diverse talent. Based on our experience of working with internationally trained professionals over the last 20 years, we have developed a suite of employer-facing trainings and tools to prepare employers for recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding internationally trained professionals. These best practices and resources are aimed at moving the mark for more diverse and inclusive workplaces.

To learn more about how business can aid Afghan resettlement and workforce integration or join this growing group, please contact Upwardly Global: 

Jennie Murray, VP of Programs and Kim Cohen, Director of Employer Engagement.


Upwardly Global is a national nonprofit whose mission is to eliminate employment barriers for immigrant and refugee professionals, and advance the inclusion of their skills into the U.S. economy. With offices in San Francisco, New York City, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., Upwardly Global is a leader in skilled workforce development and placement.

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