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How JetRockets supported its international team through crisis

Natalie Kaminski Co-founder and CEO

We’ll start here: JetRockets stands with Ukraine.

I’ve always been particularly proud of our international team of developers. Our hybrid onshore-offshore team gives our clients a premium product team experience, at better costs, with access to some of the best talent around the world. We’re headquartered in Brooklyn, NY, and, before the war in Ukraine, we had developers based in Russia, Belarus and other post-Soviet states.

But when Russia invaded Ukraine, we took a stand. It was immediately clear that we did not want to do any business in a country that so blatantly attacked its neighbor. We did not want any money going into the war chests of the Russian government. This was non-negotiable.

As of July 1st 2022, we’ve cut all ties with Russia and Belarus, and we no longer have any employees there.

Leading through crisis

Equally, we knew that we did not want to leave any of our team members behind. We made the decision to support any employees who wanted to leave the region—and to make it happen. In the days and weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine, we helped 46 employees, plus their families, escape the danger they were suddenly facing. We feared that Russia would shut down our employees’ bank accounts; that the FSB might suspect them of anti-Russian sentiment for working with an American company; that they could be arrested or conscripted into military service. We leapt into action.

My team and I worked around the clock, and we helped every single person who wanted to relocate do so safely. Back in March, I told this story on NPR  — anonymously, at the time, to protect our employees’ safety.

Supporting our employees for the long term

We’ve committed to helping our employees resettle in countries like Turkey, Armenia and Georgia, ensuring they have comfortable, location-adjusted salaries and are settled into their new homes, their children settled into new schools. Soon, we’ll open a new physical office in Batumi, Georgia as well.

We’ve also dedicated significant effort to hiring tech talent based in Ukraine, many of whom had been left unemployed by the war. We’ve already onboarded several new Ukrainian developers, QA engineers and Project Managers, with more to come.

What’s next

Since we hired our first employee in 2014, I’ve always taken great pride in our talent and the work they do. They’re smart, creative, independent workers that clients can trust with their biggest aspirations.

But I’ve really never been prouder of the way our team came together in the past few months, and the new community it’s built between us. Watch this space for what’s next for our international team — there’s a lot more to come.