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

YOUR JUNE 2021 NEWS BULLETIN BRIEF FROM THE…
KENTUCKY
$250 MILLION IN GRANTS AVAILABLE TO ADDRESS KENTUCKY’S WATER INFRASTRUCTURE NEEDS: Funded by the federal American Rescue Plan Act and administered by the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), $250 million has been appropriated for clean drinking water and wastewater grants to fund projects across Kentucky. There are 713 public drinking water and wastewater utilities in Kentucky.The American Society of Civil Engineers in 2019 projected that Kentucky faces nearly $14.5 billion in water/wastewater infrastructure needs over the next 20 years, including over $8.2 billion in drinking water upgrades and $6.2 billion in sewer system improvements.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
AMAZON BEGINS HIRING FOR 2,000 JOBS AT CVG AIR HUB: Amazon officially opened applications Wednesday for 2,000 full-time jobs at its Amazon Air hub at Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport. According to the mega-corporation, each of the 2,000 new positions will pay at least $17.50 and offer a $2,000 signing bonus alongside benefits such as health insurance and parental leave.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

TENNESSEE
FEDEX GROUND ANNOUNCES 700 JOBS IN NASHVILLE TO MEET GROWING E-COMMERCE DEMAND: FedEx Ground will hire 700 package handlers at its stations in Nashville, the company announced Monday. The announcement is a response to growing demand for e-commerce services, according to a news release. New hires will load and unload packages, and the positions may become full-time job opportunities as demand rises. Nearly 3,000 employees currently work at FedEx Ground facilities in Nashville, Lebanon, Murfreesboro and Mount Juliet, according to a company spokesperson. In the last fiscal quarter, FedEx Ground transported more than 13 million packages per day, up from 12 million in the previous fiscal quarter.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
AMAZON HIRING 3,200 IN MEMPHIS WITH SIGN-ON, COVID-19 VACCINE BONUSES AVAILABLE: Amazon will hire more than 3,200 new employees in Memphis amid a nationwide hiring blitz, the company said Thursday. The company said the average starting salary for the positions in Memphis will be $17 an hour and have “comprehensive health insurance.” Amazon is also offering sign-on bonuses of up to $1,000 in some locations and $100 bonuses are being offered to those who have already received their COVID-19 vaccinations.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

WEST VIRGINIA
WEST VIRGINIA’S ECONOMY IS BOUNCING BACK, EXPERTS SAY: West Virginia’s economy is well on its way toward recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to West Virginia University’s Dr. John Deskins. Deskins, director of the Bureau of Business & Economic Research in WVU’s College of Business and Economics, said the recovery process really began last spring after the state’s “stay at home” orders were lifted and most businesses reopened.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
SPECIAL REPORT: TOYOTA IN WEST VIRGINIA: This is one of the engine assembly lines at Toyota Motor Manufacturing West Virginia. Team members here build four-cylinder engines for Toyota Corollas inside this massive, two million square foot facility in Buffalo, West Virginia in Putnam County. It’s these employees which drew—at least in part—Toyota’s attention to this part of West Virginia. “I think there were a couple of other locations they looked at, and finally, based on some benefits, they put it here in Buffalo, and I’m glad they did that because we’ve been really thriving here,” said Srini Matam, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, West Virginia.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

A SNAPSHOT OF WHAT’S HAPPENING NATIONALLY!
MINORITY BUSINESS CONTRACTS BOOSTED: President Joe Biden on Tuesday plans to announce steps to increase the number of federal contracts awarded to small, disadvantaged businesses, one of several measures designed to address a racial-wealth gap. Biden aims to increase spending with those businesses by 50%, or an additional $100 billion in contracts over five years, according to an administration official who spoke on condition of anonymity. Many businesses classified as small and disadvantaged are owned by people of color.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
VAMOSVENTURES RAISES $50 MILLION FUND FOR MINORITY-LED BUSINESSES: VamosVentures, a downtown-based seed-stage venture fund, has raised $50 million to address the gap in access to growth capital for minority-led businesses. The fund, called VamosVentures Fund I, focuses on early stage investments in technology-enabled companies led by Latino and other diverse founders with compelling products and solutions. The fund was oversubscribed by more than double its target.
“We are addressing a gap in venture capital markets that has been created by a number of forces, including perceived risk in entrepreneurs who deviate from the norm, unfamiliarity with emerging market needs and propensity to manage risk by sticking to one’s network,” said Marcos Gonzalez, founder and managing partner of VamosVentures.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE

SPECIAL FEATURE STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD!
THE EMPOWER 100 ETHNIC MINORITY EXECUTIVE ROLE MODELS 2021: Society has been reckoning with racial inequalities following Black Lives Matter protests around the world last year. The business world is no different and renewed energy has gone into tackling the problem of poor ethnic minority representation at the top of the corporate world. Many organisations have announced new initiatives to elevate ethnic minorities internally or pledged funding for organisations that help the cause. 
But there is still so much more to do.
Elevating, celebrating, and amplifying the visibility and voices of people of colour from across the globe is more important than ever.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
WHAT WILL A POST-PANDEMIC ECONOMY LOOK LIKE? HERE’S WHAT CHIEF ECONOMISTS EXPECT:
  • The World Economic Forum’s most-recent Chief Economists Survey shows most expect a recovery of global GDP to its pre-COVID-19 level by the first half of 2022.
  • Respondents see the largest risk of scarring from a delayed wave of bankruptcies.
  • They also expect the largest conflict potential internationally arising from cyber-attacks.
  • For the climate transition, a significant number believe that 2050 is not ambitious enough for net-zero targets.
SOURCE: CLICK HERE
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