Chobani CEO urges hiring refugees to help solve migrant crisis
NEW YORKIn addition to donating a large portion of his personal wealth to the current migrant crisis, the Turkey-born founder of American yogurt company Chobani has stated his intention to hire refugees to help change their lives and their future.
Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani, told CNN Money, “My background is the reason that I knew how important it is to be accepted into a new community. And I knew that it’s only possible if you get a job.”
Ulukaya started Chobani in 2007 and has been hiring refugees to work at his upstate New York plant since 2008. He had hired around 300 refugees, according to the CNN story.
“Even though I was hiring refugees here for five years, I didn’t know how bad this [current crisis] is,” he said.
Many migrants have been stalled in places like Lesbos, a Greek Island Ulukaya recently visited.
Ulukaya said that needs to change and the undertaking will require corporate America to step up.
A CNN reporter asked, “You’re asking business leaders to contribute. Why should they?”
Ulukaya responded, “Because we are effective.”
He said business leaders can do more than just write checks.
“Let’s face it, the way we’re dealing with the refugee crisis today is the same way that we did in the 1940s and 1950s. [A] refugee has a cell phone and the Facebook group [informs them about] which roads to follow. The way they deal is different than the conditions on the ground,” he said.
While he has promised to eventually give away most of his $1.4-billion-dollar fortune to support the cause, so far he has donated some $2 million for immediate relief.