WeWork’s Refugee Hiring Initiative

An expanded support system.

Shanea Patterson

Since 2016, the coworking-space giant WeWork has committed to bringing together companies and refugees for its Refugee Initiative—an effort to expand opportunities for refugees and their families. Thanks to a partnership with the International Rescue Committee, people who've been severely affected by conflict and disaster can recuperate and get back on their feet by getting access to language skills, customized training, and mentorship through partners, employees, and members.

WeWork's initiatives range from local to global outreach and include community events, job fairs, and volunteer opportunities. In the next five years, WeWork has plans to employ 1,500 refugees throughout the United States and United Kingdom in collaboration with the IRC, the Tent Partnership for Refugees (see page xxx), Breaking Barriers, and several other network partners.

While some are concerned about what refugee hiring could mean for the economy, the fact that refugees have contributed nearly $63 billion in positive financial gains to the U.S. economy over the past decade should inspire some confidence. Creating more welcoming communities and a brighter future for all should be reason enough to support refugee hiring globally. —Shanea Patterson