Opportunity Hiring in our Distribution Centers

Our Approach

Gap Inc.’s Enabling Opportunity and Social Impact programs leverage our business assets and capabilities to empower economically marginalized individuals across North America. This Way ONward became our first Opportunity Hiring program in 2007 with a focus on youth from underserved communities. Since then, we have extended support to refugees and immigrants to fill essential roles across our stores and distribution centers (DCs) while advancing opportunity and prosperity in the communities we touch. 

"Gap Inc. has a vested and concerted interest in creating opportunity hiring, because we are one of the largest employers of entry level jobs in the country and we also believe deeply in inclusion. Some of our most impactful work is happening in and around our DCs, places where we apply our assets and scale to enable opportunities for lots of people, many of them are immigrants and refugees."


Our efforts focus on enabling access to opportunity for marginalized groups facing some of the highest barriers to employment. We acknowledge the role Gap Inc. can play in addressing the distinct challenges faced by different groups while recognizing the untapped source of talent they represent for our business. The business imperative to address this is clear. As the largest American specialty apparel company, our stores and DCs require thousands of employees to serve our customers, especially during the holiday peak season. To address the employment barriers faced by underrepresented groups, Gap Inc. creates access to job opportunities for these talent pools. 

Inclusive of refugees, over 19 million adults in the U.S. have limited English proficiency the majority of whom are Spanish speakers facing ongoing and significant barriers to employment and financial stability. Such barriers include education and language constraints, discrimination, and limited access to transportation and professional networks for economic advancement. We know adults with English proficiency experience higher earnings outcomes, and yet language learning resources remain inaccessible and unaffordable for many. Supporting these communities in learning English could open a whole new pool of talent while helping them to secure financial stability.  


Our Enabling Opportunity and Social Impact strategy is based on leveraging the scale of our business to expand opportunity and mobility for economically marginalized individuals, including in our Distribution Centers. We do this by providing a:  

Way In: We build robust local hiring pipelines while removing barriers to employment by investing in critical wraparound supports 

• Way Up: We help enable career mobility and remove barriers to equitable advancement.  

• Way for All: We lead by example and influence other employers to create pathways for economic mobility.  

The success of our business depends on everyone being given an equal chance for economic opportunity. We aim to open doors within Gap Inc. – starting with entry-level roles – and seek to influence the industry to follow suit. Our people-first approach prioritizes societal impact and meaningful partnerships with non-governmental organizations, public-private collaboratives, and other employers. 

Refugee and Immigrant Hiring

We focus on standardizing hiring and onboarding processes and collaborating with local organizations to better support our approach to employing refugees and immigrants. We also focus on providing better support to English language learners (ELLs), including conducting a comprehensive document translation exercise, linking ELLs with bilingual trainers and supervisors and ensuring new employee orientation is set up for bilingual facilitation. We demonstrate success in implementing digital translation support on the DC floor to help ensure employees have support during their shifts. 

We successfully launched a hybrid ELL program in collaboration with EnGen and Dutchess Community College, aiming to equip ELLs with skills to apply in the workplace, home, and their local communities. We are actively exploring ways to bring this resource to even more employees. In addition, some English-speaking supervisors are using program resources to learn Spanish, strengthening communication and connection with those on their team.  

Specifically, in our DCs, refugee and immigrant employees have benefitted significantly by having access to ELL programs at Gap Inc., including the ability to help their children with schoolwork and boosting their confidence at work.  

So far, we’ve learned that refugee and immigrant hires at our DCs are highly engaged, demonstrated by strong productivity and low attrition rates. 

"In 2020, when I started working at the distribution center, I just needed a steady paycheck. But then I saw people from many different countries, supervisors that were welcoming, the chance for people to improve their English. I was like I think I can fit here, maybe even grow. Four years later, I am a Supervisor for the Department of Packing. Before this job, I had to ask my kids to help me pay the bills and write emails. Now I’m very independent and it's my job to help others become independent too."
Ana Diaz, Operations Supervisor Fishkill NY


"Many of our employees come from a background where they might be qualified for a supervisor or management position. Language shouldn’t be the thing holding them back—I want Gap Inc. to be the final stop on their career path."
Ross Dombrowski, Operations Supervisor Fishkill NY