The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is Permanently Authorized in new Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo is pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is made permanent and will be expanded and elevated with the passage of this historic legislation. This action allows the agency to increase their programs and outreach to the Nation’s more than 9 million minority-owned businesses.

“President Biden has made clear his commitment to not just rebuilding to how things were before COVID-19, but to building back better and more equitably,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gina M. Raimondo. “The Minority Business Development Agency is ready to step into this historic moment and build on its success – because we recognize that America’s road to recovery runs through our minority business community. Making MBDA a statutory Agency provides MBDA with the authorities, workforce and resources needed to help level the playing field on behalf of minority businesses and minority entrepreneurs.”

“The Department of Commerce and MBDA play a pivotal role in promoting the growth and competitiveness of minority-owned businesses,” said U.S. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Don Graves. “This legislation is transformative and signifies a new era in minority business development and progress toward addressing the long-standing racial disparities in access to capital, contracts, and business ecosystems.”

“Created by Executive Order in 1969, the Minority Business Development Agency is the only federal agency solely dedicated to the growth and global competitiveness of minority business enterprises,” said Miguel Estién, Acting National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency. “The Minority Business Development Act of 2021 is one of the most significant pieces of legislation impacting the minority business community in the last 50 years. I look forward to helping lead the Agency’s transformation at this critical juncture in our nation’s history.”

The bill expands the geographic reach of the MBDA by authorizing the creation of regional MBDA offices, rural business centers, and increasing the number and scope of existing programs.

The Act also:

  • Creates a presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed Under Secretary of Commerce for Minority Business Development to lead the agency.
  • Increases the MBDA’s grant-making capacity to partner with community and national nonprofits engaged in private and public sector development as well as research.
  • Mandates the creation of the Parren J. Mitchel Entrepreneurship Education Grants Program to cultivate the next generation of minority entrepreneurs on the campuses HBCUs and MSIs across the Nation.
  • Creates a council to advise the Under Secretary on supporting MBEs; and
  • Authorizes the Under Secretary to coordinate federal MBE programs.

The MBDA will report on the implementation milestones of the Minority Business Development Act of 2021 through the website, www.MBDA.gov.

Sources: White House and MBDA • Cover Photo: bdpatoday


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Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal Fact Sheet

WASHINGTON (BDPA-DC) — “Infrastructure Week” closes today with new DOW, S&P 500, and Nasdaq records on Wall Street this week along with the passage of an epic infrastructure bill on Capitol Hill. The White House announced the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act), a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness.

For far too long, Washington policymakers have celebrated an “infrastructure week” without ever agreeing to build infrastructure. The President promised to work across the aisle to deliver results and rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. After the President put forward his plan to do exactly that and then negotiated a deal with Members of Congress from both parties, this historic legislation is moving to his desk for signature.

This Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rails, expand access to clean drinking water, ensure every American has access to high-speed internet, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind. The legislation will help ease inflationary pressures and strengthen supply chains by making long overdue improvements for our nation’s ports, airports, rail, and roads. It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably so that everyone gets ahead for decades to come. Combined with the President’s Build Back Framework, it will add on average 1.5 million jobs per year for the next 10 years.

According to the White House, this historic legislation will:                               

Deliver clean water to all American families and eliminate the nation’s lead service lines. Currently, up to 10 million American households and 400,000 schools and child care centers lack safe drinking water. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will invest $55 billion to expand access to clean drinking water for households, businesses, schools, and child care centers all across the country. From rural towns to struggling cities, the legislation will invest in water infrastructure and eliminate lead service pipes, including in Tribal Nations and disadvantaged communities that need it most.

Ensure every American has access to reliable high-speed internet. Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected. Yet, by one definition, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds – a particular problem in rural communities throughout the country. And, according to the latest OECD data, among 35 countries studied, the United States has the second highest broadband costs. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver $65 billion to help ensure that every American has access to reliable high-speed internet through a historic investment in broadband infrastructure deployment. The legislation will also help lower prices for internet service and help close the digital divide, so that more Americans can afford internet access.

Repair and rebuild our roads and bridges with a focus on climate change mitigation, resilience, equity, and safety for all users. In the United States, 1 in 5 miles of highways and major roads, and 45,000 bridges, are in poor condition. The legislation will reauthorize surface transportation programs for five years and invest $110 billion in additional funding to repair our roads and bridges and support major, transformational projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal makes the single largest investment in repairing and reconstructing our nation’s bridges since the construction of the interstate highway system. It will rebuild the most economically significant bridges in the country as well as thousands of smaller bridges. The legislation also includes the first ever Safe Streets and Roads for All program to support projects to reduce traffic fatalities, which claimed more than 20,000 lives in the first half of 2021.

Improve transportation options for millions of Americans and reduce greenhouse emissions through the largest investment in public transit in U.S. history. America’s public transit infrastructure is inadequate – with a multibillion-dollar repair backlog, representing more than 24,000 buses, 5,000 rail cars, 200 stations, and thousands of miles of track, signals, and power systems in need of replacement. Communities of color are twice as likely to take public transportation and many of these communities lack sufficient public transit options. The transportation sector in the United States is now the largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions. The legislation includes $39 billion of new investment to modernize transit, in addition to continuing the existing transit programs for five years as part of surface transportation reauthorization.  In total, the new investments and reauthorization in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal provide $89.9 billion in guaranteed funding for public transit over the next five years — the largest Federal investment in public transit in history. The legislation will expand public transit options across every state in the country, replace thousands of deficient transit vehicles, including buses, with clean, zero emission vehicles, and improve accessibility for the elderly and people with disabilities.

Upgrade our nation’s airports and ports to strengthen our supply chains and prevent disruptions that have caused inflation. This will improve U.S. competitiveness, create more and better jobs at these hubs, and reduce emissions. Decades of neglect and underinvestment in our infrastructure have left the links in our goods movement supply chains struggling to keep up with our strong economic recovery from the pandemic. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will make the fundamental changes that are long overdue for our nation’s ports and airports so this will not happen again. The United States built modern aviation, but our airports lag far behind our competitors. According to some rankings, no U.S. airports rank in the top 25 of airports worldwide. Our ports and waterways need repair and reimagination too. The legislation invests $17 billion in port infrastructure and waterways and $25 billion in airports to address repair and maintenance backlogs, reduce congestion and emissions near ports and airports, and drive electrification and other low-carbon technologies. Modern, resilient, and sustainable port, airport, and freight infrastructure will strengthen our supply chains and support U.S. competitiveness by removing bottlenecks and expediting commerce and reduce the environmental impact on neighboring communities.

Make the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of Amtrak. U.S. passenger rail lags behind the rest of the world in reliability, speed, and coverage. China already has 22,000 miles of high-speed rail, and is planning to double that by 2035. The legislation positions rail to play a central role in our transportation and economic future, investing $66 billion in additional rail funding to eliminate the Amtrak maintenance backlog, modernize the Northeast Corridor, and bring world-class rail service to areas outside the northeast and mid-Atlantic. This is the largest investment in passenger rail since Amtrak’s creation, 50 years ago and will create safe, efficient, and climate-friendly alternatives for moving people and freight.

Build a national network of electric vehicle (EV) chargers. U.S. market share of plug-in EV sales is only one-third the size of the Chinese EV market. That needs to change. The legislation will invest $7.5 billion to build out a national network of EV chargers in the United States. This is a critical step in the President’s strategy to fight the climate crisis and it will create good U.S. manufacturing jobs. The legislation will provide funding for deployment of EV chargers along highway corridors to facilitate long-distance travel and within communities to provide convenient charging where people live, work, and shop. This investment will support the President’s goal of building a nationwide network of 500,000 EV chargers to accelerate the adoption of EVs, reduce emissions, improve air quality, and create good-paying jobs across the country.

Upgrade our power infrastructure to deliver clean, reliable energy across the country and deploy cutting-edge energy technology to achieve a zero-emissions future. According to the Department of Energy, power outages cost the U.S. economy up to $70 billion annually. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal’s more than $65 billion investment includes the largest investment in clean energy transmission and grid in American history. It will upgrade our power infrastructure, by building thousands of miles of new, resilient transmission lines to facilitate the expansion of renewables and clean energy, while lowering costs. And it will fund new programs to support the development, demonstration, and deployment of cutting-edge clean energy technologies to accelerate our transition to a zero-emission economy. 



Make our infrastructure resilient against the impacts of climate change, cyber-attacks, and extreme weather events.
Millions of Americans feel the effects of climate change each year when their roads wash out, power goes down, or schools get flooded. Last year alone, the United States faced 22 extreme weather and climate-related disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each – a cumulative price tag of nearly $100 billion. People of color are more likely to live in areas most vulnerable to flooding and other climate change-related weather events. The legislation makes our communities safer and our infrastructure more resilient to the impacts of climate change and cyber-attacks, with an investment of over $50 billion to protect against droughts, heat, floods and wildfires, in addition to a major investment in weatherization. The legislation is the largest investment in the resilience of physical and natural systems in American history.

Deliver the largest investment in tackling legacy pollution in American history by cleaning up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaiming abandoned mines, and capping orphaned oil and gas wells. In thousands of rural and urban communities around the country, hundreds of thousands of former industrial and energy sites are now idle – sources of blight and pollution. Proximity to a Superfund site can lead to elevated levels of lead in children’s blood. The bill will invest $21 billion clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, reclaim abandoned mine land and cap orphaned oil and gas wells. These projects will remediate environmental harms, address the legacy pollution that harms the public health of communities, create good-paying union jobs, and advance long overdue environmental justice This investment will benefit communities of color as, it has been found that 26% of Black Americans and 29% of Hispanic Americans live within 3 miles of a Superfund site, a higher percentage than for Americans overall.

— Source: The White House Images: BDPA-DC/Getty Images


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CTA Announces Return to Las Vegas for CES 2022

CES Will Convene Tech Industry In-Person and Digitally 

ARLINGTON, VA — The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® today announced  CES® 2022, the world’s most influential technology event, will return to Las Vegas next year. Following a successful all-digital CES 2021 , CTA will convene the tech industry in-person and digitally, giving a global audience access to major brands and startups, as well as the world’s most-influential leaders and industry advocates. CES heads back to Las Vegas Jan. 5-8, 2022, with Media Days taking place Jan. 3-4, 2022.

Some 1000 companies have committed to showcasing their most innovative technologies in Las Vegas and companies are continuing to sign up. Attendees can expect to see global brands including Amazon, AMD, AT&T, Daimler AG, Dell, Google, Hyundai, IBM, Intel, Lenovo, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics and Sony. Companies including Caterpillar, Indy Autonomous Challenge and Sierra Space are planning to make a Las Vegas debut in 2022. Eureka Park will return with startups representing countries around the world, including large delegations from France, Italy, the Netherlands and South Korea.

“We’re thrilled to return to Las Vegas – home to CES for more than 40 years – and look forward to seeing many new and returning faces,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Hundreds of executives have told us how much they need CES to meet new and existing customers, find partners, reach media and discover innovation.”

BDPA and NSBE executives with HBCU professors during CES 2019 ©2019 bdpatoday

Digital audiences will also experience the spirit of the live event in Las Vegas. The CES anchor desk, which debuted at CES 2021, will travel to Las Vegas and connect the digital audience with exhibitors, conference sessions, keynotes and product announcements from the live event. New content will also be added once CES departs Las Vegas, enabling attendees and exhibitors to continue connecting and exploring.

“Our customers are enthusiastic about returning to a live event in Las Vegas,” said Karen Chupka, EVP, CES, CTA. “Global brands and startups have shared that plans are already well underway and are committed to sharing the magic of an in-person CES with even more people from around the world.”

CTA will be reviewing guidelines for coronavirus safety measures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in addition to state and local guidelines. CTA will be following applicable federal, state and local laws, adapting CES plans accordingly and sharing updates with its audiences.

About CES: 
CES® is the most influential tech event in the world – the proving ground for breakthrough technologies and global innovators. This is where the world’s biggest brands do business and meet new partners, and the sharpest innovators hit the stage. Owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®, CES features every aspect of the tech sector. CES 2022 will take place in Las Vegas, and digitally, Jan. 5-8, 2022.  Learn more at CES.tech and follow CES on social.

About Consumer Technology Association: 
As North America’s largest technology trade association, CTA® is the tech sector. Our members are the world’s leading innovators – from startups to global brands – helping support more than 18 million American jobs. CTA owns and produces CES® – the most influential tech event in the world. Find CTA at CTA.tech. Follow CTA  @CTAtech.

— Source and cover photo credit: CTA


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#BDPACon21 • Save The Date!

Mobile Boarding & Beyond: What Bus Companies Need to Focus on in 2021

CINCINNATI — Continued reopenings and successful vaccination campaigns will almost certainly lead to an increase in travel and tourism. While it may take some time to fully get back to pre-pandemic levels, bus and transit companies can benefit from this travel demand and bounce back from very difficult fiscal years.

From individuals taking short regional trips to visit family members they haven’t seen in a while, to tourists enjoying weekend trips, to college students heading home for a (hopefully) more normal holiday season later this year, there’s a lot of potential for bus companies to find customers in the coming months. And because the economy may take some time to recover, more cost-conscious consumers may prefer to take buses rather than more expensive options such as trains or planes. Still, bus companies need to provide a safe, pleasant experience for passengers in order to entice them back. 

What Bus Companies Must Focus on in 2021

Safely Increasing Capacity

As travel restrictions ease and customers become more comfortable being around other passengers, bus companies can start to increase the number of riders per trip. Still, safety measures like using masks and implementing enhanced cleaning practices will likely continue to be necessary for a while.

Bus companies should clearly state their health and safety practices so that customers can determine whether they’re comfortable getting on board. It would be a shame to lose customers who, for example, would take the bus if they knew there would be temperature checks and that they could open windows, but because that information isn’t publicized in advance, they choose to drive instead.

Increasing Payment & Boarding Efficiency 

That starts with reducing the need to line up at bus stations to purchase tickets. Many bus companies have already rolled out easy-to-use online payment systems, but if you haven’t yet, now could be a good time to do so. From there, passengers should easily be able to receive an e-ticket or some type of confirmation that can allow for fast boarding.

The less bus companies have to review paper tickets, the faster they can typically board the bus and avoid frustrating queues; when that happens in a location with multiple buses, sometimes customers don’t even know which line to get in.

Ideally, bus companies can even go beyond scanning e-tickets, which can still create logjams and require employees to physically get close to customers at a time that many still want to maintain social distance. Verification technologies like data-over-sound can allow for faster confirmations at a greater distance than when using QR codes providing the customer with an efficient & seamless mobile boarding solution. 

Improving Customer Experience 

In addition to providing a better experience regarding areas like cleanliness and boarding procedures, bus companies should also think about how they can elevate customer experience to win back those who might be considering other modes of transportation.

For example, providing more in-ride media options to compete with airplanes could be a benefit customers appreciate. Some bus companies also try to appeal to more of a luxury, business-class market, such as by offering more legroom than airplanes and food/beverages (which could be more practical post-pandemic).

Another approach to elevating customer experience and appeal to new customer segments could be to implement more sustainable practices. Some municipal bus operators use alternative clean energy sources, and commercial bus companies may increasingly have opportunities to upgrade to more environmentally friendly fleets in the coming years. Meanwhile, even small measures, like highlighting the environmental impact of using paperless tickets, could help provide a strong experience for customers.

What This Means for Your Mobility Company 

Implementing these types of measures can go a long way toward helping bus companies make up for the ridership drops experienced during the pandemic. Travel will likely see a strong surge, but to keep ridership up in the years to come, bus companies also need to think about how they can create these types of safe, sustainable, efficient experiences.

LISNR Co-Founder and BDPA Mission Partner Rodney Williams discusses data-over-sound technologies during a CES Smart City presentation.

In this new normal for mobility, contactless methods must operate at distances greater than what NFC or QR codes can provide. LISNR®, the most advanced ultrasonic platform, enables authentication across distances of centimeters to many meters. Plus, it’s secure, fast and easy-to-use for passengers.

LISNR®: The Most Advanced Ultrasonic Platform

Recently, BusUp, the #1 corporate bus commuter management platform in the E.U., integrated LISNR® to enable contactless mobile boarding pass authentication. As a result, the company aims to increase safety, efficiency and speed for its passengers through contactless ultrasonic technology. 

Learn More About Ultrasonic Technology by Calling LISNR® 

Want to see how your business can leverage data-over-sound technology to better serve customers in 2021? Get in touch with our team today. To learn more, give LISNR a call at 513-322-8400 or send them a message.

— Sources and photos: LISNR, #TeamLISNR, CTA, and bdpatoday


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Join the conversation April 22-24, 2021: SMART Cities Infrastructure Cybersecurity

BDPA-DC Receives New Grant from Best Buy Foundation to Support Local Tablets-For-Teens Projects

WASHINGTON—The Best Buy Foundation has approved a grant to BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPA-DC) in direct support of the association’s Tablets For Teens program.  Grant reporting and requirements for this next phase provide details on precisely how funds are used to support this rapidly emerging digital divide initiative.

BDPA-DC is supporting the following mission sets with Title-I schools across the National Capital Region collocated within our primary area of responsibility. Direct support includes distribution of free or low-cost computing devices to students and distribution of new cellular wireless hot spots to students with no broadband service at home.

This special grant also assists BDPA student members, students enrolled in National BDPA’s Student I.T. Education and Scholarship (SITES) activities, and local JROTC Cadets attending Title-I schools with new tablet PCs, notebook PCs, mobile hot-spots, or small single-board card-sized computers with accessories.  BDPA Student Members, Cadets, and local high school students may also receive community service hours supporting local BDPA SITES projects, webinars, technology events, and outreach activities with BDPA.

Best Buy has been a committed, valuable and engaged community partner and BDPA-DC enthusiastically looks forward to continuing our local, regional, and national relationships in the future.

BDPA Huntsville’s 2020 SITES Finalists receive new Samsung Galaxy Tab A tablets from the Association’s Tablets For Teens initiative after their technical showcase competitions during National BDPA’s 45th Anniversary and virtual BDPA2020 Annual Conference. Photo © 2020 BDPA Huntsville, AL. BDPA Detroit’s 2020 SITES Finalists are featured on our cover photo.

The association’s global mission as outlined by National BDPA is to bridge digital divides across cyber security, information technology (IT) and telecommunications competency gaps while broadening outreach and awareness campaigns for computer, data science, and technical careers. Since 1978, BDPA-DC’s projects across the National Capital Region support career development and economic development through well blended and tailored series of student programs, industry outreach, community relations, and legislative affairs primarily for urban and underserved communities. Tablets For Teens is another program under the Chapter’s SITES-IV (“Industry 4.0” SITES) portfolio. 

Additional information for the national capital region is provided on the following two landing pages, bdpadc.org or tabletsforteens.org.

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Tablets For Teens • Earth Day Tech Summit 2021 • TabletsForTeens.org

T-Mobile Launches Project 10Million

Historic $10.7B Initiative is Aimed at Closing the Homework Gap and Connecting Students to Opportunity – for Free

BELLEVUE, WA—With the need for equitable access to the internet more crucial than ever, T-Mobile has zeroed in on a bold goal: helping every single unconnected student in the U.S. get access to the internet connectivity they need to learn. In a recent video posted last month, T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert announced that the Un-carrier’s $10.7 billion Project 10Million commitment is taking a big step toward accomplishing this vision. The program is now live and available to school districts.

But T-Mobile didn’t stop there. In response to the unique learning challenges students are experiencing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Un-carrier is expanding Project 10Million by giving school districts additional plan options with more data to best meet their students’ current needs.

T-Mobile previously committed to kick off Project 10Million once its merger with Sprint was complete, and now, as the supercharged Un-carrier, it is following through on that promise and putting its combined resources and network capacity to work. Through Project 10Million, T-Mobile is addressing the persistent homework gap experienced by more than 9 million children across the country who are unable to get online to complete at-home assignments. Project 10Million offers free wireless hotspots, up to 100GB per year of free high-speed data, and access to at-cost tablets and laptops, or the equivalent value of approximately $500 annually per student household.

Additionally, as COVID-19 forces up to 50 million students out of the physical classroom and into part- or full-time remote learning, the need for connectivity and greater bandwidth has dramatically increased. What was a homework gap has turned into an even more massive schoolwork gap, when students without internet access are completely left out of learning.

To address this urgent need, the Un-carrier has expanded Project 10Million by allowing participating school districts to apply the value of the free program to one of two new plans with MORE data. Schools can choose a 100GB per month option or a fully unlimited plan. The best part is that every district gets free wireless hotspots and access to at-cost laptops and tablets, and they have the flexibility to pick the solution that works best for their district. And it’s all still free to students. Interested school districts may sign anytime with T-Mobile at www.t-mobile.com/p10m.

“Education is the great leveler, but without internet access, kids will be left behind. T-Mobile has a big goal – to deliver connectivity to every child who needs it across the U.S. Starting now with our historic Project 10Million commitment, we’re going to help open A LOT of doors to opportunity that might have previously been closed,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert. “This issue is even more critical as the COVID-19 pandemic has completely shifted learning for many from the classroom to online. Big issues need big solutions, and that’s exactly why we’re not just launching but significantly enhancing Project 10Million and giving flexibility to educators so they can best address the unique needs of their students with plans that offer more data. As the supercharged Un-carrier, we now have the resources and network capacity to deliver reliable connectivity to students across the U.S. — and to tackle the critical homework gap and the schoolwork gap head-on!”

As classroom learning continues to shift to online learning, the need for internet connectivity is growing. It’s a problem T-Mobile has been working on closely with schools, state governments and technology partners since the pandemic started.

The expanded reach and capacity of T-Mobile’s network plays a crucial role in the Un-carrier’s ability to make reliable connectivity truly accessible to students across the U.S. This includes those in urban centers as well as underserved areas like rural America, where 1.7 million households do not have high-speed home internet service. Future Project 10Million recipients will also benefit from T-Mobile’s expanded 5G over time with faster speeds and even broader coverage.

Project 10Million builds on T-Mobile’s — and Sprint’s — longstanding focus on education and connecting students. Prior to merging in April 2020 and before the COVID-19 pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint had already connected nearly half a million students, and as COVID-19 started to impact schools, the combined company stepped up its efforts. Since March 2020, T-Mobile has connected over 1.6 million students in more than 3,100 school districts across the country. This includes the company’s part in New York City’s plan to connect more than 350,000 students with iPads and data when classes resume virtually. And the Un-carrier has partnered with the California Department of Education and Apple to connect up to another 1 million students as schools across the state prepare to start the next school year virtually.

“Since the start of the pandemic, T-Mobile and Sprint have worked hand-in-hand with school districts, state governments and technology partners to bring connectivity solutions to those who need it most, connecting more than 1.6 million students in less than six months,” said Mike Katz, executive vice president of T-Mobile for Business. “During the pandemic, we’ve had countless conversations with school districts and educators. We’ve consistently heard that they need more options that fit the unique needs of their students. We have expanded Project 10Million to tap into T-Mobile’s network resources and capacity, and take our support of educators and students to a whole new level. We’re going to make a HUGE difference for millions of students!”

Project 10Million is the third and final component of the Un-carrier 1.0 5G for Good commitments that the company announced before its merger with Sprint was approved. Since the completion of the merger, the company has now launched all three commitments, which also include Connecting Heroes and T-Mobile Connect.

Source: T-Mobile U.S. Inc.

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Tablets For Teens

CES 2021 Moves to an All-Digital Experience

ARLINGTON, VA — The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® today announced CES 2021®  — January 6-9, 2021 — will be an all-digital experience connecting exhibitors, customers, thought leaders and media from around the world. The new format will allow participants to hear from technology innovators, see cutting-edge technologies and the latest product launches, and engage with global brands and startups from around the world.

CES-Marketplace_familytech

“Amid the pandemic and growing global health concerns about the spread of COVID-19, it’s just not possible to safely convene tens of thousands of people in Las Vegas in early January 2021 to meet and do business in person,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Technology helps us all work, learn and connect during the pandemic — and that innovation will also help us reimagine CES 2021 and bring together the tech community in a meaningful way. By shifting to an all-digital platform for 2021, we can deliver a unique experience that helps our exhibitors connect with existing and new audiences.”

CES 2021 will be a new immersive experience, where attendees will have a front row seat to discover and see the latest technology. This highly personalized experience will bring a global event to the comfort and safety of your home or office.

For over 50 years, CES has been the global stage for innovation. CTA’s goal for CES 2021 is to provide an engaging platform for companies large and small to launch products, build brands and form partnerships, while prioritizing health and safety. Members of the tech community thrive by coming together, sharing ideas and introducing products that will shape our future.

BDPA @ CES 2020
Implementing Diversity from the Top” at CES 2020.  (L-R) Tiffany Moore, CTA; Carmalita Yeizman, Bosch; Lesley Slaton Brown, HP; Ben Hasan, Walmart. © 2020 bdpatoday

Mark your calendars for the first week in January and be on the lookout for more exciting news about CES 2021. CES plans to return to Las Vegas for CES 2022, combining the best elements of a physical and digital show.

Source and photos: CTA and BDPA

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CES 2020 Wraps: Ai and 5G Define the Future of Innovation

Apply today for new civilian careers in Tech and Cyber with the Department of the Air Force.

World’s largest tech event unveils innovation that will solve global problems

LAS VEGAS — CES® 2020 wrapped today, following a week filled with over 20,000 product debuts unveiling the future of technology. More than 4,400 exhibiting companies launched their latest tech products to some 170,000 attendees across more than 2.9 million net square feet of exhibit space. From global tech brands to pioneering startups, the innovation at CES 2020 will revolutionize markets and change our world for the better.

“CES 2020 inspired and connected every major industry across the globe,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA)TM, owner and producer of CES. “The innovation unveiled at CES 2020 will reshape industries, create jobs, fuel the global economy and improve lives around the world.”

“This week at CES illustrated that every company is truly a tech company,” said Karen Chupka, executive vice president, CES. “Global technology brands blended with non-traditional tech companies to showcase how innovation is furthering business across all markets – setting the stage for the decade ahead.”

Key Themes at CES
CES 2020 featured the entire spectrum of transformative technology that will redefine markets and shift business models, including:

Artificial Intelligence (Ai)

  • AI was dominant throughout the show floor and will be a ‘key ingredient technology’ over the next decade. Companies debuted their latest AI solutions, including BrunswickDoosanJohn Deere and Kyocera.

5G and Mobile Connectivity

Over the Shoulder Shot of Senior Medical Scientist Working with CT Brain Scan Images on a Personal Computer in Laboratory. Neurologists in Research Center Work on Brain Tumor Cure.

  • CES is the only show where the entire 5G ecosystem – the backbone for connectivity, transportation, augmented and virtual reality, digital health and more – comes together. Carriers and mobile operators, such as VerizonSprintAT&TNokia and Ericsson, demonstrated the latest advancements in 5G’s speed, reliability and efficiency.

Non-Traditional Tech Companies at CES

  • Non-traditional companies used CES 2020 as a platform to launch products. Impossible Foods returned to CES 2020, debuting its Impossible Pork; John Deere was featured in the AI & Robotics Marketplace and other companies, such as BellDelta AirlinesL’OrealNBCUniversal and Procter & Gamble, unveiled how they’re transforming their businesses through technology.

Tech for Good

smart city in urban

  • Innovative technologies launched at CES that will change lives and improve our world. Digital health technologies were a major theme, with advancements in digital therapeutics, wearables and remote patient monitoring as digital health addresses real world issues like opioid dependence, mental illness and chronic disease. The Health & Wellness category saw an increase of nearly 25% with more than 135 exhibiting companies at CES 2020, including Humetrix and InBody.
  • The Smart Cities exhibit area expanded by nearly 25% over 2019, with companies and organizations including the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)Hitachi and Siemens , highlighting products that will revitalize economies and help communities survive and thrive.
  • CTA also partnered with the World Bank Group at CES 2020 on a Global Tech Challenge, calling for companies around the world to create solutions focused on three key areas: health, gender inequality and technologies that enable communities to be resilient. The Health Tech Challenge category is accepting applications through February 25 to connect innovators with healthcare providers in East Africa.

Eureka Park

  • CES 2020 was also the world’s largest startup event, with more than 1,200 companies from 46 countries featured within Eureka Park, offering disruptive innovations, attracting investors and big-name brands. Technologies unveiled within Eureka Park include the Oval Home smart sensor that analyzes temperature, light, humidity and movement in the home; Yoganotch, which applies motion capture technology to help users improve poses; and Caregiver Smart Solutions with sensors that track movement and patterns to provide caregivers reassurance and patients with more independence at home.

“CES has the unique ability for startups and young companies to get exposure to major global brands,” said Mara Lewis, Co-Founder and CEO, ID8 Innovation; member, CTA Board of Industry Leaders. “The opportunities for venture funding and growth are incredible here. And the CES 2020 Diversity and Inclusion conference track was mind blowing!”

Diversity and Inclusion

BDPA @ CES 2020
“Implementing Diversity from the Top” forum during CES 2020.  (L-R) Tiffany Moore, CTA; Carmalita Yeizman, Bosch; Lesley Slaton Brown, HP; and Ben Hasan, Walmart.

  • CES 2020 had a large focus on Diversity and Inclusion, with new programming and partnerships. The Innovation for All conference program featured chief diversity officers and leaders from BoschHP and Walmart , and explored inclusive ways that D&I is contributing to the bottom line, shifting culture, hiring differently and investing in diversity. BDPA and NSBE members attended and contributed to this year’s Implementing Diversity from the Top  multicultural info-session.

Travel and Tourism

  • Delta Airlines was the first airline to keynote at CES. During his address, Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian described the future world of travel through tech, including AI, AR, biometric security, smart incentive programs, and a new Parallel Reality experience, as travel becomes more customized.

Transportation and Vehicle Technology

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  • CES 2020 was revved up highlighting the future of transportation. Nine of the world’s leading car manufacturers, including AudiBMWDaimler (Mercedes)FCAFordHondaHyundaiNissan and Toyota, and more than 150 vehicle tech exhibitors unveiled the latest in connected cars, self-driving vehicles and concept cars. Products included the Mercedes Vision AVTR concept car (top cover photo), Audi’s AI:ME and the Sony Vision S.

C-Space

  • CES brought together content creators, Hollywood, the advertising and music industries, media and leading CMOs to explore the future of brand marketing and entertainment, including streaming services, through the return of C Space. The 2020 program featured more than 60 exhibitors, including AT&T ServicesComcastGoogleHP HuluiHeartNBC UniversalPandoraRedditRokuSiriuXMSnapTwitchTurnerUnivision and WWE.

Keynotes

  • The CES stage featured more than 1,100 speakers representing major global industries, including keynotes from Samsung President and CEO of Consumer Electronics Division Mr. Hyun-Suk Kim; Daimler Chairman Ola Källenius; Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian; NBCUniversal Chairman of Advertising and Partnerships Linda Yaccarino; Quibi CEO Meg Whitman and Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg; U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao; Salesforce Chairman and co-CEO Marc Benioff; Unilever CEO Alan Jope; and Presidential Advisor, Ivanka Trump.

“We hosted 40 CEOs and corporate directors here, and over half were attending CES for the very first time,” said Nichole Jordan, Central Region Managing Partner, Grant Thornton; member, CTA Board of Industry Leaders. “As we debriefed, they said this show – this experience – helps them to reimagine their businesses and their futures.”

CES, the world’s largest and most influential tech event, returns to Las Vegas next year from January 6-9, 2021. For FY21, BDPA Members may check with local or participating BDPA Chapters to schedule BDPA Meet-Ups and Trade Mission delegations with BDPA Chapter Cities for CES 2021.

— by Caroline Finnell, CTA and Perry Carter, BDPA-DC
Photo credits: U.S. DOT, CTA, and BDPA

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

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At BDPA: An annual tech ‘Trade Mission’ to CES

Select here for exciting new careers in TECH, CYBER, and SPACE!

LAS VEGAS, NVCommerce, our cultural and geopolitical interchange of relationships, solutions, and services, soon will embrace fifth generation (5G) wireless technologies. With 5G, data, processing, storage, and new sensory techniques will leverage information technology (IT) across new frameworks and unprecedented infrastructures..

Now in its 45th year, National BDPA (BDPA), its members, and its mission-partners remain keenly interested in providing innovative solutions with new services, while supporting viable workforce pipelines for the following projected growth areas:

  • Robotics and Machine Intelligence
  • 5G, Ai,  and the Internet (or “Intelligence”) of Things (IoT) 
  • Edge Computing and Quantum Computing
  • Gamification and Immersive Infotainment
  • Infrastructure and SMART City Initiatives
  • Tech-Inclusion and Cyber Workforce Development

This year during CES® – the world’s largest and most influential tech event – entrepreneurs, software engineers, startups, and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)  met during CES 2020 to discuss emerging requirements or demonstrate their latest products and services.  Within tech’s multi-trillion dollar ecosystem, IT continues to transcend every vertical market from agriculture to transportation while providing faster interactions with the greatest consumer engagements and user experience (UX.) BDPA Members and mission-partners are the professionals that help make “IT” happen.

 

Meet Rodney Williams

rodney-williams-lisnrIn 2012, Rodney Williams co-founded LISNR® with Chris Ostoich and Josh Glick around the core premise that sound can do more. The single insight that sound can be leveraged as a conduit for wide-scale connections everywhere. More specifically, using sound to connect more people and devices in ways that had never existed before.

Since arriving at that insight, LISNR has grown into the world’s most advanced ultrasonic technology. To fill the need, LISNR developed the idea of a software solution for encoding data into inaudible tones.  LISNR is ultrasonic inaudible technology; a communication protocol that sends data over audio. They use ultrasonic audio called Smart Tones™ to transmit information and has grown their list of partners, clients and investors to include some of the best in the world.

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Mr. Williams earned his BBA in Finance from West Virginia University and his MBA from Howard University. He is a Techstars Mentor and Member of National BDPA’s Cincinnati Chapter. BDPA Members with Python, Java, or Objective-C experiences may review LISNR’s current openings for Implementation Engineers, by visiting LISNR.com.

BDPA and bdpatoday received invitations from LISNR’s team to join them during CES 2020 at a reception hosted by the GENIVI Alliance. The alliance develops standard approaches for integrating operating systems and middleware present in the centralized and connected vehicle cockpit.  The alliance also links adopters of Android™ Automotive, AUTOSAR, Linux, and other in-vehicle software with solution suppliers resulting in a productive and collaborative community of over 100 corporate members worldwide.

 

Meet Brenna Brown

brenna-brown_igaliaAt Igalia, Ms. Brown works in the most exciting areas in open source software, including Browsers, Graphics and Multimedia. Igalia applies their knowledge to a wide variety of platforms and technologies in the consumer electronics market and can provide our companies and agencies with innovative user-interface (UI) solutions for Smart TVs, set-top boxes, tablets, mobile phones, in-vehicle infotainment, and smart-home automation.

Ms. Brown earned her BSEE from Howard University and an MBA from Pepperdine University.  Igalia is hiring, BDPA Members and BDPA Student Members are asked to reach out to Ms. Brown for entry-level or internship opportunities. She wants to hear from BDPA’s Jr. Devs, High School Computer Competition (HSCC) alumni, and professionals who understand Linux and OpenGL with WebKit or WebRTC on their latest resume.

Send to: resumes@bdpadc.org.

igalia-ces2020

Above (L-R) Brenna Brown, Igalia; Morris Williams, Maryland Aviation Administration; and Terry Speigner,  CEO of NGEN LLC.  BDPA and bdpatoday met with Igalia’s team while attending GENIVI Networking Reception & Showcase at the Bellagio Hotel with state delegations from Maryland and Michigan.      — Photo  ©2020 bdpatoday

 

Meet Paul Amadeus Lane

paul-amadeus-lane_KMETMr. Lane is an Accessibility Consultant working with game developers and consumer technology companies help meet the needs of the disabled user. Mr. Lane also is a Bureau Chief and Multimedia Host in the Greater Los Angeles area covering tech, gaming and entertainment for ABC News Radio, KMET 1490 AM.  Being a person with a disability, he uses his personal experiences to try to make sure he speaks to everyone with topics that he covers.

Each year during CES, Mr. Lane looks forward to his live broadcasts.  At CES 2020 this week, he was able to join his pal Dr. Stephen Ewell (photo) from  the Consumer Technology Association Foundation to discuss their amazing initiatives and accomplishments.

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Above (L-R) ABC News Radio, KMET 1490 AM, Bureau Chief Paul Amadeus Lane with CTA Foundation’s Dr. Stephen Ewell in the Las Vegas Convention Center’s North Hall media center during CES 2020.

 

Meet Dr. Karl Reid

karl-reid_nsbe-ExDirDr. Karl Reid is the Executive Director of our National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), one of the world’s largest student-governed engineering organizations. He also is the author of “Working Smarter, Not Just Harder: Three Sensible Strategies for Succeeding in College…and Life.” Prior to joining NSBE, Dr. Reid was Senior Vice President of Research, Innovation and Member College Engagement at UNCF where he developed and implemented educational, research and capacity-building programs for UNCF’s 37 member historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). Dr. Reid arrived at UNCF from MIT after serving as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Education, Assistant to the Chancellor for Diversity and Director of the Office of Minority Education.

Dr. Reid attended several workshops with Industry leaders and BDPA Mission Partners from around the world during CES 2020. BDPA  Student Members interested in supporting NSBE Jr. activities or joining a NSBE Chapter are invited to visit NSBE.org.  BDPA, NSBE, and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will continue to support the establishment of new BDPA Chapters collocated with HBCU/MIs and Community Colleges.

BDPA @ CES 2020

Above (L-R) Dr. Quincy Brown, Anita Borg Institute; Dr. Todd Shurn, Howard University; Ms. Omarosa Manigault-Newman; Dr. Karl Reid, Executive Director, NSBE; Ms. Sherika Ekpo, Global D&I Lead- Research & Artificial Intelligence at Google; Ms. Sherida McMullan, Inclusion & Diversity at Lyft; and Mr. Perry Carter, publisher, bdpatoday.     — Photo  ©2020 bdpatoday

 

Meet-Up @ CES 2021?

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® convenes companies of every size and specialty in the technology industry to move us all forward.  Located outside of Washington, D.C. in Arlington, VA, CTA is the trade association representing the $398 billion U.S. consumer technology industry, which supports more than 15 million U.S. jobs.

Powered by CTA, CES formally known as the Consumer Electronics Show, is the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies. BDPA Chapters, BDPA Members, and BDPA Student Members attending next year’s “trade mission” to CES 2021 may contact National BDPA or National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter to arrange meet-ups or attend special Industry Partner events.

BDPA is a community oriented tech and media “trade” association. Join, renew, or launch a new BDPA Chapter on campus today by visiting BDPA.org and bdpatoday.com.

— Sources and photos: ABC News Radio/KMET, BDPA, CTA, Igalia, LISNR, and NSBE

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A D V E R T I S E M E N T

Earth Day Tech Summit 2020

 

BDPA Memphis Welcomes new Computer Science Graduates to Industry

New Cyber and STEM civilian careers with the Department of the Air Force

MEMPHIS, TN — BDPA Memphis Student Members graduated this week with Computer Science Degrees from the University of Memphis. Other BDPA Student Members not only graduated with Computer Science Degrees, some graduated from CodeCrew Code School and Tech901.

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According to BDPA Memphis, for students considering a future in IT, or want to learn more about technology, BDPA can help develop technical skills, make introductions to role models, and open doors to new tech internships or that first IT career opportunity.

bdpatoday | December 2019

For start-ups and entrepreneurs who provide IT-related services and products, a BDPA membership is an invaluable asset. BDPA introduces businesses to individuals with purchasing power. Interact with potential business partners, investors, and certified employees.

In 2018, nine students from National BDPA’s Memphis Chapter qualified to attend #BDPACon18, the annual BDPA National Technology Conference and Career Expo in New Orleans, LA.

Two mobile apps were presented at the conference: Microball Gaming (by Bryce Ellis), a three-in-one video game with augmented reality and real time multiplayer, and Edesia (by Kareem Dasilva), an app that finds nearby food trucks in real time.  Bryce won second place in the app competition, receiving a $2500 scholarship.

Three BDPA students won other scholarships (Jada Thomas, Monsanto Scholarship, $2500; Brandon Ellis, Oracle Scholarship, $2500; Cody Seymour, Oracle Scholarship, $2500), and three students participated in judging the High School Computer Coding Competition.  High school participant Milton Turner placed second in the Information Technology Showcase for his presentation on the risks of having a “smart city.”

BDPA Memphis’ advisor, CodeCrew Executive Director Meka Egwuekwe, was awarded the Individual Pace Setter Award for his leadership in developing STEM education in Memphis.

— Source and photos: BDPA Memphis

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BDPA Huntsville | 2020 Regional Conference

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