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FEBRUARY’S TRISTATE TALKING NEWS – REGIONAL, NATIONAL AND GLOBAL SNAPSHOTS

SPECIAL FEATURE STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
FIGHTING SYSTEMIC RACISM – 48 COMPANIES FORM GLOBAL COALITION TO BRING RACIAL JUSTICE TO THE WORKPLACE: A new initiative supported by 48 corporate leaders aims to set new global standards for racial and ethnic justice in business. Global companies are increasingly taking up their role as responsible trustees of society and investing in actions for racial and ethnic equity in the workplace – not as an option but as a business imperative.
The World Economic Forum has convened a coalition of global corporations and their C-suite leaders committed to building equitable and just workplaces for professionals with underrepresented racial and ethnic identities.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
WORLD’S RICHEST BECOME WEALTHIER DURING COVID PANDEMIC AS INEQUALITY GROWS: Almost every country in the world is likely to see an increase in inequality because of the pandemic, according to a new report. For Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Tesla’s Elon Musk, the pandemic has been good for business. The two billionaires, like many of the world’s richest people, have become even wealthier since the coronavirus struck, according to a report released Monday by international humanitarian group Oxfam.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT’S HAPPENING NATIONALLY!
BIDEN REVOKES BAN ON DIVERSITY TRAINING: U.S. President Joe Biden revoked the previous administration’s order that prohibited government agencies, contractors and recipients of federal funding from conducting diversity training that implies an individual is sexist or racist by virtue of his/her race, sex or national origin. Janai Nelson, the associate director-counsel of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, the Trump ban negatively impacted the lives and livelihood of countless Americans and advanced the cause of white supremacy. SAGE CEO Michael Adams added that it led to the cancellation of a VA seminar on the discrimination that older veterans face when seeking health services.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
BLACKROCK TO PUSH COMPANIES ON RACIAL DIVERSITY IN 2021: BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest asset manager, plans to next year push companies for greater ethnic and gender diversity for their boards and workforces, and says it will vote against directors who fail to act.
The money manager, which oversees more than $7.8 trillion of assets, is asking U.S. companies to disclose the racial, ethnic and gender makeup of their employees — data known as EEO-1 — as well as measures they’re taking to advance diversity and inclusion, according to a stewardship report.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

YOUR FEBRUARY 2021 NEWS BULLETIN BRIEF FROM THE…
TENNESSEE
AMAZON DEDICATES $2 BILLION FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN NASHVILLE, SEATTLE, ARLINGTON: Amazon will infuse more than $2 billion into the three communities hosting its new headquarters locations to develop affordable housing, company officials announced Wednesday.
Nashville, Washington state’s Puget Sound region, and Arlington, Virginia, are eligible for grants, below-market loans and credit lines to preserve and create 20,000 housing units for low-income residents.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
UNITED BUYING CHANGE HEALTHCARE FOR $8 BILLION: One of the biggest names in health care is buying one of Nashville’s largest public companies for about $8 billion in cash. UnitedHealth Group is buying Change Healthcare and will combine it with its OptumInsight division to bring together a vast range of software and analytics products, technology services and revenue cycle management offerings. Change Healthcare shareholders still need to give the deal their approval; funds affiliated with private equity giant Blackstone own about 20 percent of the company and will support the sale.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
KENTUCKY
UP TO $1 BILLION AVAILABLE TO AID KENTUCKY HOSPITALS: The Governor announced Kentucky hospitals will receive an additional $800 million to $1 billion annually to help advance the quality of care of Medicaid members and provide a stable base for hospitals that will extend beyond the financial challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) received approval on Jan. 14 from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on a new directed payment initiative that increases inpatient Medicaid payments for Kentucky hospitals.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
KENTUCKY LOCK AND DAM PROJECT TO GET $110 MILLION FROM U.S. ARMY CORPS: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) is dedicating $110.1 million to the Kentucky Lock and Dam project in its Fiscal Year 2021 Work Plan. According to the Army Corps, the Kentucky Lock’s shipment delays are among the longest in the country, hindering the more than $5 billion worth of commodities that flow through the lock every year.Once completed, the new lock addition will essentially eliminate these delays well into the future.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

WEST VIRGINIA
PPP CONTAINS SUPPORT FOR MINORITY-OWNED BUSINESSES, NON-PROFITS AND MORE, WEST VIRGINIA CITE URGENT NEED: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been restored, helping provide aid to businesses facing economic hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said.
According to the Small Business Association’s West Virginia District director, Karen Friel, the Economic Aid Act, which is part of the $900 billion Consolidated Appropriations Act for COVID-19 relief, allocates an additional $284 billion to a reauthorized and revised PPP, helping assist with job retention and other expenses.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
WEST VIRGINIA TO GET NEARLY $120 MILLION FOR TESTING, VACCINATIONS: West Virginia will see an infusion of $103.1 million in federal funding to expand COVID-19 testing and contact tracing, the state’s U.S. senators said on Tuesday. The state will also get nearly $16.2 million toward distributing the coronavirus vaccine. The money comes from a massive coronavirus relief package.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
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