Today, White House Chief of Staff Jeff Zients and senior White House officials met with the Welcome.US CEO Council, a group of nearly 40 CEOs from a range of industries, including its co-chairs Accenture Chair and CEO Julie Sweet and Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.
The Biden-Harris Administration has launched an historic expansion of lawful pathways for people seeking safety and refuge in the United States, while surging resources to the border for humane enforcement.
The Welcome.US CEO Council is a nonpartisan, public-private partnership that has worked to enable communities to welcome many more newcomers arriving through these pathways – beginning with Afghan and Ukrainian newcomers, and now expanded to global populations eligible for humanitarian sponsorship and refugee resettlement. By leveraging private sector resources and innovations and amplifying them with the contributions of millions of Americans donating their time, resources, and expertise, the CEO Council has helped scale the provision of essential goods, technology, and services; quality jobs and legal aid; and opportunities for communities to sponsor newcomers in need of safety.
Today, meeting participants affirmed the importance of this partnership and discussed ways to support newcomers arriving through these pathways. Participants discussed ways to scale innovations in employment, mentorship, delivery of goods and services, and engaging communities as sponsors and welcomers.
While the work of Welcome.US is focused on longer term systemic change to modernize our system to successfully integrate newcomers, meeting participants also discussed the immediate needs of refugees and asylum seekers, and the work that members of the CEO Council are engaging in to meet these immediate needs. Some of the companies that were present at today’s meeting will be taking a number of actions to help address the immediate needs of newcomers. These include:
- Addressing transportation needs by offering credits for ride-share services and providing funding for public transportation.
- Amplifying the U.S government’s work authorization awareness campaign.
- Increasing pro bono legal services to help newcomers submit work authorization applications and address other legal needs.
- Connecting work eligible individuals with good jobs by scaling outreach, training, and recruitment for newcomers, in partnership with the Tent Partnership for Refugees.
Today’s meeting highlights the importance of public-private partnerships in building durable and scalable capacity to better respond to the global displacement crisis. Participants committed to strengthening this partnership, in service of sustaining and expanding whole-of-society approaches to welcoming newcomers and ensuring they thrive together with their new communities.