Upwardly Global Urges Congress to Pass Afghan Adjustment Act

Legislation could impact $646M annually in U.S. economy

Since the Fall of Kabul in 2021, Afghan Newcomer Professionals Evacuated to the U.S. Projected to Contribute $646 Million in Earnings Per Year

Over a year ago, the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan, marking the end of an over two-decade long military campaign against the Taliban in the region. Since the rollout of Operation Allies Welcome, a relief effort by the Biden administration to provide housing and employment support to Afghan refugees, an estimated 80,000 Afghan newcomers have been welcomed into the U.S. Afghans have the potential to make significant contributions to the U.S. economy, addressing labor shortages in key industries, and investing in local communities. Today, Upwardly Global is excited to release new data highlighting the potential economic contributions of newly-arrived Afghan professionals within their first year of employment in the United States.


  • If we succeed in our inclusion efforts to place Afghan newcomer professionals into skills-aligned job positions, their projected economic contributions would total $650 million per annum.
  • Since August 2021, Upwardly Global has placed 226 Afghan newcomer professionals into skills-aligned positions, with a sum of annual salaries totalling over $14 million.
  • Of the 41,040 working-age Afghans, Upwardly Global projects that 25% are professionals with college degrees. Of this group, 53% possess a Bachelor’s degree, and 26% a Master’s degree or higher. Data is similar for men and women.
  • Following Upwardly Global’s program, the top industries for placement include: information technology, engineering and architecture, and business logistics and operations (BLO).
  • Top job titles included: Accountant, Civil Engineer, IT Help Desk Technician, Case Manager, Program Manager, IT Network Engineer.

Upwardly Global’s specialized employment services for Afghan newcomer professionals, coupled with the care and generosity of host communities for Afghans in the U.S., have demonstrated that Afghan refugees, among other skilled refugee professionals, are able to get employed at thriving wage jobs soon after arrival. The unique skill set of this population is often overlooked by domestic employers, which leads to an untapped potential that could otherwise reinvigorate the U.S. workforce and economy in difficult times. Moreover, the process of working toward meaningful skills-aligned job placement is, contrary to what many believe, critical towards rebuilding physical stability. Our work with Afghan newcomer professionals have evidenced this mutual benefit between newcomer professionals and U.S. employers.


Additionally, Upwardly Global has observed that Afghans program participants, in particular, have eagerly embraced job search processes and, time and again, underscored to us the importance of this work for them and their families. Consider the following insights:


  • Afghan refugees accessing Upwardly Global employment services have been placed in jobs on average within 136 days, making an average of $63,000/year.


Upwardly Global has observed that issues that are consistent to most job seeker journeys, such as managing language barriers, resume gaps, and a lack of professional networks, are often compounded with other unique factors, including challenges that arise due to cultural barriers, race, and gender. These observations are paramount to our employment efforts for Afghan newcomer professionals. By mobilizing over 20 years of experience working with employers and trained professionals in recruiting diverse talent, Upwardly Global also strives to support jobseekers on the employer-side. Hear from some of Upwardly Global’s partners:

"At Cummins, we believe that every one of us is responsible for creating a diverse and inclusive environment; and we truly aspire to build a workforce that is representative of the communities in which we live and work around the world. One way that our Global Talent Acquisition Team moves us farther along in our DE&I journey is by ensuring that diversity, equity and inclusion are embedded in every step of the Talent Acquisition process and by consistently fostering meaningful relationships with proven diversity partners – like UpGlo – that enable our team to find, engage, and attract top diverse talent into our ranks."
Sergio R. Santos
Diversity Program Leader, Global Talent Acquisition, at Cummins
"Coming from an immigrant household, I've seen first hand both the challenges immigrants face as well as the resilience and grit with which they meet said challenges. I'm proud that through Google.org funding and training like the Google Career Certificates, we've been able to support Upwardly Global to better serve immigrants and refugees with the tools they need to increase their economic mobility."
Hector Mujica
Head of Economic Opportunity, at Google.org
Upwardly Global, the first and longest-serving organization dedicated to advancing the inclusion of immigrant and refugee professionals into the workforce in the U.S., has long been committed to this effort in support of Afghan refugees, having built out a new program incorporating our experience serving several hundred Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) recipients over the past decade.
“In light of the Fall of Kabul, nearly a year ago today, we are remembering the hard journey that our new Afghan neighbors have faced. We are eager to commit ourselves to supporting their inclusion in our workforce and communities, where they have so much to contribute. The memory of Afghans at the Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, crowding into the first career center that Upwardly Global set up there with the help of the military and key donors, so eager to restart their lives and contribute to U.S. society, is forever etched in our organization’s memory. Upwardly Global is grateful to be of service to Afghans and all immigrants and refugees to this country.”
Jina Krause-Vilmar
President and Chief Executive Officer, at Upwardly Global