BDPA Welcomes Northwestern Mutual

MILWAUKEE, WIBDPA would like to welcome Northwestern Mutual as a Gold Sponsor! This partnership is an opportunity to work with Northwestern Mutual to discover new insights and to create new opportunities through networking and potential employment. During the 43rd Annual Conference, this partnership will be highlighted in several ways.

BDPA’s Data Science Academy (DSA) and Northwestern Mutual are partnering to provide experiences for educational and career growth through research and lab-based programs for students and professionals.

Message from Northwestern Mutual

Message from Northwestern MutualOur BDPA partnership extends beyond the sponsorship and funding.

It provides opportunities to build relationships with diverse talent, especially students, opening the door for future tech talent to participate in our world class tech internships program and the possibility of a tech career at Northwestern Mutual and beyond.

At the same time, we can support our communities and grow local tech talent through working with the BDPA Milwaukee chapter.

“We’re excited to work with a new group of data and analytics
professionals to deliver impactful learning experiences that attract,
develop, and retain the best talent in the industry.”


KERI MCCONNELL, SENIOR DIRECTOR DATA SCIENCE & ANALYTICS, NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL, & CO-DIRECTOR, NORTHWESTERN MUTUAL DATA SCIENCE INSTITUTE





Preconditions for a general-purpose central bank digital currency

WASHINGTON —Money is a social and legal construct underpinned by trust. Conceptions of money have evolved and money has taken many forms over the years. In North America, pre-colonial trade was often conducted in wampum, corn, and fur pelts.

Today, for the United States, whatever specific objectives may arise for a central bank digital currency (CBDC), they should be consistent with the Federal Reserve’s longstanding objectives of the safety and efficiency of the nation’s payments system, as well as monetary and financial stability. A CBDC arrangement must be in keeping with these objectives, which have guided the central bank since its establishment in 1913.

A foundational element for introducing a CBDC is understanding its purpose: What can a CBDC be used for, how it can be used, and what potential value does it provide? A recent Bank for International Settlements report highlighted a number of potential benefits for a CBDC. These include enhancing payment system resiliency, increasing payments diversity, encouraging financial inclusion, and improving cross-border payments. Research papers and other reports have referenced the potential for a CBDC to support monetary policy.  It is important to consider that a CBDC that is designed to support monetary policy transmission or economic stimulus payments, for example, would be quite different than a CBDC that is designed to be an alternative to cash.  Without clear objectives, it would be difficult to establish business requirements for a CBDC.

Primary motivations for CBDC research and experimentation

Sources: This map was compiled using data from the March 2020 BIS Quarterly Review and a 2020 working paper from the IMF, “A survey of research on retail central bank digital currency,” and supplemented through additional secondary research. CBDC activity tracking sites from organizations such as the Atlantic Council were used. Motivations were broadly determined by the authors using the public statements attributed to sources within the central banks themselves or in some cases other news sources.

Central bank interest in CBDC research and experimentation varies significantly. However, these interests generally fall into two broad categories. One set of central banks is primarily looking to address present-day challenges, while for others it is exploring future capabilities. For some jurisdictions, a CBDC is intended to address a specific problem — inefficient payment systems, weak banking infrastructure, or declining cash use — or to promote national policy goals, such as supporting payments inclusion and protecting monetary sovereignty.

For many advanced economies, the primary motivations are centered on potential payments innovation and general preparedness for a potential future state. highlights some of the central banks’ primary motivations.

Source and Map: Federal Reserve by Jess Cheng, Angela N Lawson, and Paul Wong. Select here to visit their website for this full article.

Bitcoin’s 2020 In Tech

by AARON VAN WIRDUM December 31, 2020

Seemingly undisturbed by 2020’s craziness, and largely unfazed by bitcoin’s wild price swings that concluded with new all-time highs in December, Bitcoin’s technical community continues to plow ahead. Bitcoin’s software and the many projects around it were gradually improved throughout the year, as software was optimized, bugs fixed and privacy leaks patched. The bulk of this work, as vital as much of it is, doesn’t attract headlines.

Yet, a bird’s-eye view on Bitcoin’s tech development over the span of a year helps highlight new milestones in Bitcoin’s ongoing technological march forward. In 2020, too, the consistently growing Bitcoin development community introduced a number of useful new features, several particularly important upgrades and some especially notable improvements.

As this volatile year is drawing to a close, these were some of Bitcoin’s most notable technical developments over the past 12 months…

New Privacy Tools With PayJoin And CoinSwap

On Bitcoin’s privacy front, the PayJoin and CoinSwap projects this year represented two promising advancements.

PayJoin, also known as Pay to Endpoint (P2EP), is a trick that lets recipients of a transaction partake in the transaction through a CoinJoin, to basically send funds to themselves while also receiving the actual payment from the real sender. If a snoop, conducting blockchain analysis, were to assume that all coins sent in a transaction belonged to the same person — as they normally would — they’d be wrong. This already benefits the privacy of both sender and receiver, as the snoop would confuse (past) coin ownership between them. Moreover, if enough people use PayJoin, it could render this important heuristic for blockchain analysis useless altogether, in turn benefiting even the privacy of those who didn’t make PayJoin transactions themselves.

The Lightning Network Became More Robust With Watchtowers (And More)

The Lightning Network, Bitcoin’s Layer 2 protocol for faster, cheaper and more private payments, continued to improve across the board in 2020. With Lightning implementations LND, Eclair, C-Lightning and — since July — Electrum rolling out a number of new software releases, and a growing number of projects building on top of the protocol, Lightning development was more active than ever. Among the more notable developments, Watchtowers resolved one of the Lightning Network’s remaining weaknesses, resulting in a more robust protocol.

After Miniscript, Bitcoin Programming Was Made Easier With Minsc

The code embedded in Bitcoin transactions that specifies what conditions must be met to spend the coins in a next transaction is written in a programming language specifically designed for Bitcoin, called Script. Script can be tricky to work with, however: in programmers jargon, Script is hard to “reason about.” This means that, especially as it becomes a bit more complex, it can be difficult to understand what a piece of script actually allows: a transaction may unintentionally include code that allows the coins to be spent under different conditions than originally intended. This is one reason why many Bitcoin software applications, like wallets, refrain from utilizing Script’s full potential.

Smart Contracts Became Smarter With DLCs

Whenever smart contracts depend on external data — data that doesn’t live on the blockchain — they rely on an external source for that data referred to as an “oracle.” If two users want to bet on the outcome of a sports match, for example, the oracle would have to use the result of the match to settle the bet in favor of whoever made the correct prediction (at least in case of a dispute).

Holding Is Getting Safer With Bitcoin Vaults

The long list of exchange hacks and other bitcoin heists are testament to the fact that securely storing private keys continues to be a challenge, especially where many coins are at stake. But more secure solutions to store coins are in development. Bitcoin vaults — a concept dating back to 2016 — are a type of smart contract that secure coins so that it takes several confirmed transactions and a time delay to really spend them. This gives potential victims the opportunity to revert a heist before it is too late. 2020 saw the release of two types of vault prototypes.

Taproot Is Now Good To Go, As Activation Is Under Consideration

Taproot is set to be the first Bitcoin protocol upgrade since Segregated Witness activated in August 2017. First proposed by Bitcoin Core contributor Gregory Maxwell in January 2018, Taproot lets users “hide” smart contracts in regular-looking Bitcoin transactions: complex multisig construction could be indistinguishable from a simple payment.

For an even more extensive and detailed summary of Bitcoin’s 2020 tech developments, also see the Bitcoin Optech 2020 Year-in-Review Special. Aaron’s full article is linked here.

Source: BITCOIN Magazine
Image: GettyImages

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BusUp Integrates LISNR’s Ultrasonic Technology Enabling Safe Contactless Ticketing for its Users

BARCELONA, SPAIN―BusUp, the leading corporate bus commuter management platform in the European Union (E.U.) announces their integration of LISNR’s ultrasonic technology platform to enable contactless mobile boarding pass authentication. LISNR’s ultrasonic technology enables contactless “Person Present” authentication and transactions across numerous mobility and retail commerce experiences that require contactless fulfillment. In the “new normal” where contactless methods are needed at distances greater than what NFC or QR can provide, LISNR is proving to be the safest and most seamless option for merchants as shown in this partnership with BusUp.

“Incorporating LISNR technology into our on-boarding process is a real breakthrough for BusUp. Thanks to LISNR we can offer our daily passengers with an even faster and safer contactless check-in on board.” – Rui Stoffel, CEO and co-founder of BusUp

LISNR’s frictionless solution will prove invaluable for BusUp’s extensive list of clients that include Siemens, Accenture, Louis Vitton and Cognizant amongst others. While the Coronavirus brought most forms of shared transportation to a halt, BusUp has taken a proactive approach in selecting a safe and seamless solution.

“A recent survey showed that 88% of BusUp users feel safe or very safe with BusUp. By incorporating LISNR ultrasound technology, we are confident that we will be able to improve these excellent results.” – Thibaud Kistler, CEO USA

Priding themselves on incorporating the most advanced technology for their customers, BusUp saw LISNR as a safer and more efficient solution to QR code. They recognized LISNR’s technology as the market leader for reasons such as safety, efficiency and ability to function without an internet connection. Safety for the riders and drivers through contactless authentication. Efficiency and speed to better eliminate queues and ensure less reading errors. The fact that the technology works without an internet connection was imperative since BusUp is a global company providing services in areas with less than stable internet connection, especially in LatAm where they are currently operating in Brazil and Peru.

“BusUp is a perfect use case for our contactless, “person present” authentication. They are a prominent corporate transportation provider in the E.U. and U.S. for a reason. They work with some of the biggest brands to help ensure their most valuable asset, their employees, have a safe commute to the workplace. We’re excited to be an integral part in making sure that process stays reliable, safe and seamless in these “new normal” times.” – Eric Allen, CEO LISNR

As BusUp continues to expand globally, LISNR will continue to play an essential part of their contactless authentication process. Overall LISNR has seen contactless authentication and transactions skyrocket in many different verticals like mobility (transportation + delivery) and retail (scan pay & go, BOPIS, curbside pickup). According to McKinsey contactless services have seen a rise, and many consumers intend to continue using methods like self checkout (79%) + BOPIS (64%) after the pandemic subsides.1. With universal safety regulations recommending distances greater than what incumbent solutions like QR Code or NFC technology are effectively able to carry out, LISNR’s ultrasonic proximity platform is proving to be a stronger & safer alternative for these new times.


Above (L-R)  Accelerate PHL Fireside Chat dialogue “Disrupting the Status Quo” with Rodney Williams, LISNR Co-Founder, Earl A. Pace, Jr., BDPA Co-Founder, with Philly Tech Week 2017 moderator. BDPA photo ©2017 bdpatoday.

Co-founded in 2012 by Rodney Williams and Chris Ostoich, LISNR is located in Oakland, CA and Cincinnati, OH. Major investors include Visa, Intel, Jump Capital, NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Mercury Fund, R/GA, and Synchrony Financial. Rodney Williams, an alumnus of West Virginia University and Howard University, is a mission partner of the National BDPA’s Cincinnati Chapter. He is responsible for leading all of the company’s commercial activities and strategy execution as Chief Commercial Officer. He has been with LISNR® since its founding and served as the CEO until August 2018. Rodney serves clients by solving complex problems with his years of entrepreneurship and technical expertise.

LISNR’s ultrasonic ‘data-over-sound’ technology enables contactless proximity verification and authentication across commerce experiences for merchants, financial service providers, and mobility companies. Today, multiple Fortune 100 companies trust LISNR to power data transmission & authentication between devices.

Discover more about the LISNR technology by visiting: http://LISNR.com or email: info@lisnr.com.

Source and photo #TeamLISNR and BusUp

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

BDPA2020 | bdpa2020.com

Form 990 and Other IRS Tax Deadlines Pushed Back Until July 15, 2020

WASHINGTON [bdpatoday] — The IRS announced today that due to COVID-19, deadlines for any federal income tax filings and tax payments due from April 1 to July 14, 2020 have been postponed until July 15, 2020. BDPA Chapters and other IRS 501(c)(3) organizations normally filing on or before May 15th now have until July 15, 2020 for tax years ending December 31, 2019.

Of particular relevance to nonprofits, this relief applies to IRS Form 990, Form 990-EZ, Form 990-N, Form 990-PF, and Form 990-T. The deadlines for Form 4720 excise taxes filings, quarterly estimated tax payments on Form 990-W, Form 1065 partnership returns, and Form 1120-POL for political organizations have been similarly extended to July 15, 2020.

The extension of the deadlines until July 15, 2020 is automatic—nonprofits do not need to file any extension forms to qualify. However, those who need additional extensions beyond July 15, 2020 will be permitted to extend only until their original statutory or regulatory extension dates. Visit IRS FAQs for additional facts and deadlines.

[View Source | DWT, LLP]

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High Performance Data Processing: COBOL Programmers needed for huge surge in jobless data

TRENTON, NJ (BDPA-NJ) — “New Jersey needs COBOL Programmers.” At a press conference today, governor Phil Murphy asked for the help of volunteer coders who still know how to program in COBOL.

In New Jersey and perhaps other states with “legacy systems”, experts are urgently needed to fix COBOL-based unemployment insurance systems—some at least four decades old—that are overwhelmed due to COVID-19 related job losses.

cobol-header-bt-04apr20

The state recently experienced a 1,600% increase in claims volume in a single week, said labor commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo during today’s briefing, stating that “over the prior two weeks we saw more than 362,000 people apply for unemployment as a result of this public health emergency.”

March 2020 | Womens History Month

Tech industry and cybersecurity experts feel such “volunteers”, similar to demographics of National BDPA’s founding members, are likely well over 60 years old making them especially vulnerable to COVID-19. Whether they would risk venturing back out to work or volunteer to update legacy systems that should have been updated decades ago remains an open challenge, especially if they cannot remotely perform emergency upgrades from home or a secured facility.  bt

Discover more. Preview related technical content, archives, or career articles from Industry and local BDPA Chapters via LinkedIn and Pinterest.

— Sources: New Jersey Department of Labor, Quartz, and BDPA-NJ
Top courtesy photo: Newark, NJ

Visit page 4 (COBOL | Mainframes: Admiral Grace Hopper) of your March 2020 special Womens History Month edition of bdpatoday.

JPMorgan Chase Marks One-Year Anniversary of Advancing Black Pathways

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JPMorgan Chase reaffirms commitments to creating economic opportunities for Black Americans

WASHINGTON—One year after launching the Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) program, JPMorgan Chase is reaffirming its commitment to help more black Americans achieve sustained economic success. ABP builds on the firm’s existing efforts to help communities of color by focusing on three key areas where black Americans have historically trailed other ethnic groups: wealth creation, educational outcomes and career success.

“We’re committed to bringing the full force of our firm to provide improved access to education, job training and wealth creation for the black community,” said Jamie Dimon, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of JPMorgan Chase. “We believe we’ve laid a strong foundation for Advancing Black Pathways to achieve lasting, meaningful impact, but recognize that we have a long way to go towards accomplishing that goal.”

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According to Prosperity Now, if the current trends persist, the median wealth of black Americans will fall to $0 by 2053 1. In addition, despite accounting for nearly 13% of the U.S. population 2, black people occupy less than 8% of the nation’s white-collar jobs 3. The educational achievement gap is significant as well. Only 46% of black college students complete four-year degree programs within six years, compared to 69% of white students and 77% of Asian American students 4.

“JPMorgan Chase formed Advancing Black Pathways over a year ago to invest in black individuals, families and businesses in an effort to help more African Americans fully participate in our growing economy,” said Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking and executive sponsor of ABP.

“We’re proud of the progress we’ve made through Advancing Black Pathways to hire more black talent, invest in black owned-businesses and help black Americans of all wealth levels achieve their long-term financial goals. We look forward to building on these efforts for years to come,” Duckett said.

Here are some highlights of what JPMorgan Chase accomplished through ABP to help black Americans in 2019.

1. Wealth Creation:

  • In partnership with Essence Communications, ABP engaged nearly 16,000 people, primarily black women, in dialogue about how to achieve financial wellness through Currency Conversations. ABP gathered women in bank branches and in other locations nationwide to explore basic financial topics and set goals as a key step towards long-term wealth creation.The firm focused on this demographic because more than 70% of black women are either the sole or primary breadwinners for their families, according to the Center for American Progress 5 .
  • ABP partnered with the firm’s Supplier Diversity group to support black businesses in 2019, helping to double the number of black suppliers to JPMorgan Chase. The firm was also inducted into the Billion Dollar Roundtable, an exclusive group of U.S.-based companies that have spent at least $1 billion with diverse suppliers, and work collectively to advance supplier diversity.

jpcm-startup_the-road-trip-callout

2. Education and Careers:

  • ABP created an apprentice program dedicated to helping black college underclassmen get on a path to internships and entry-level roles with the firm after graduation. The initial class of 50 apprentices worked on real-time business challenges for Business Banking clients in Plano, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; and Wilmington, Delaware. The firm hired more than 1,000 black students in 2019. ABP will help drive the firm’s efforts to hire at least 4,000 by 2024 as apprentices, interns and full-time analysts.
  • Through ABP’s efforts, the firm delivered financial health training to more than 4,000 students, including 2,000 summer interns. The training consisted of live instruction on a wide range of personal finance topics, including budgeting and saving, credit health, and how to manage a monthly budget. Incoming Howard University students were required to take this training as part of their freshman orientation program, which will be delivered to additional Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in 2020.
  • JPMorgan Chase launched the Advisory Development Program in 2018, which seeks to expand racial, ethnic and gender diversity of financial advisors. Today, with support from ABP, this program has 222 participants—25% of whom are black.”

How JPMorgan Chase Is Building on its Commitment to Helping the Black Community

1. Student Financial Hardship Fund

Through ABP, JPMorgan Chase is committing $1 million to help students attending HBCUs cover the cost of personal finance emergencies. The United Negro College Fund (UNCF) and Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) will evenly administer these funds to students who attend publicly-supported HBCUs within their respective networks of 84 member schools.

Students can access these funds to pay for a wide range of expenses – including outstanding tuition balances, apartment deposits, unanticipated car repairs, medical expenses, unpaid utility bills and short-term food insecurity. Students can also use these funds to buy textbooks, or travel home for family-related emergencies.

“TMCF prides itself on removing as many barriers to opportunity as possible for the nearly 300,000 students in our 47 member-school network,” said Harry L. Williams, TMCF President and CEO. “Mission-driven partners like JPMorgan Chase understand that finances can be a significant hurdle for our students but they are doing something about it through this important scholarship.”

UNCF President and CEO Michael Lomax said that for low-income families – like those of the 92% of UNCF students who qualify for financial aid – the money needed to handle an emergency can mean the difference between staying in school and dropping out.

“This program is vital because once students leave school due to financial hardship, there is a huge risk that they will never return,” Lomax said. “We owe it to these students to be there for them when their college education is at risk.”

UNCF is the nation’s largest private provider of scholarships and other educational support to African American students.

2. Advancing Black Entrepreneurship

JPMorgan Chase also announced a new initiative to improve access to capital and business advisory services for black small business owners. This initiative— which is still under development and will launch later in 2020— will prepare black entrepreneurs for the loan application process and provide improved access to Chase’s Business Banking advisory services.

To create the program, ABP and Chase’s Business Bank formed a coalition with four partners: the National Minority Supplier Development Council, National Urban League, U.S. Black Chambers and Black Enterprise. McKinsey & Co. and E. Smith Advisors will assist the effort as consultants.

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“In addition to homeownership, entrepreneurship holds an important key towards closing the racial wealth divide,” said Sekou Kaalund, Head of Advancing Black Pathways. “Black entrepreneurs are job creators, and possess a net worth that’s 12 times higher than black non-entrepreneurs 6, so we must do our part to promote and advance small business ownership.”

3. Helping Non-Profit Organizations Advance Racial Equity in Local Communities

  • Prosperity Now: JPMorgan Chase announced a $3 million commitment over two years to help nonprofit leaders of color in Minneapolis and Seattle address racial economic inequality. This new philanthropic investment brings the firm’s support for this initiative to more than $8.8 million across eight cities – Dallas, Wilmington, New Orleans, Miami, Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle and Minneapolis – since 2015. The initiative provides leaders with intensive leadership training, resource development and support for network building to enable them to both help their clients build wealth and strengthen

    their organizations. It also supports critical research and policy efforts to help address the racial wealth divide. Research from Prosperity Now shows that from 1983-2013, the wealth of African American households declined by 75% compared with a 14% percent increase for white American households. “Through our partnership with JPMorgan Chase, we are building a national network of leaders of color working to achieve racial economic equity,” said Lillian Singh, Vice President of Racial Wealth Equity. “Through the release of our city-level racial wealth divide profiles, there is consensus that we must address growing racial economic inequality – so we are investing in the capacity and resilience of organizations to harness public, private, philanthropic, and political partnerships as they build power to serve their clients and build community-level assets.”

  • Inclusiv: The firm is making a $1 million commitment to Inclusiv to help people in low- and moderate-income communities in Detroit and Cleveland, improve their financial health. With JPMorgan Chase’s support, up to 10 Minority Depository Institutions (MDI) credit unions will increase their operational capacity to better serve more people in the communities where they operate. In addition, with JPMorgan Chase’s support, Inclusiv will build tailored FINtech solutions to address the needs of low-and-moderate-income individuals. Inclusiv will share best practices and lessons learned with the 264 credit unions in their network that spans 48 states. “Inclusiv was organized over 40 years ago by primarily minority credit unions, and these institutions continue to serve a critical function today, acting as a force for economic empowerment and inclusion within communities traditionally excluded from accessing safe and affordable financial services,” said Cathie Mahon, Inclusiv President and CEO. “African American credit unions are, and will continue to be, some of the best tools we have to strengthen our communities and fight back against the growing divide of income inequality and the racial wealth gap.”

Additional Efforts by JPMorgan Chase to Help Communities of Color

In addition to ABP, JPMorgan Chase has a number of programs designed to help people of color achieve economic and career success. These programs include:

  • The Entrepreneurs of Color Fund: A program that has provided support to more than 400 minority-owned businesses through community lending partners across five U.S. metro areas.
  • The Fellowship Initiative (TFI): The Fellowship Initiative (TFI): Launched in 2010, TFI is a three-year intensive program that provides young men of color with academic support, college preparation, professional development and mentorships. In the decade since TFI’s launch, the program has expanded to serve 200 Fellows across four cities (NYC, LA, Chicago and Dallas). One hundred percent of TFI graduates have been accepted into college. Four have been hired by our firm. JPMorgan Chase is expanding the program and also working with nonprofit partners across the country to implement the TFI model to reach significantly more young men of color.

Advancing Black Leaders (ABL)Launched in early 2016, ABL is a firm-wide strategy focused on increasing black representation across all businesses and levels. The ABL team works with senior leaders and the HR community to identify and implement strategies that close the gap in attracting, hiring, retaining and advancing black talent within JPMorgan Chase. Through strategic sourcing, internal talent development, manager accountability and a focus on students, the program is committed to creating an inclusive environment where all can thrive and advance.

— Source and photos: JPMorgan Chase, H.O.P.E. Project DMV, and National BDPA
1 Source: The Road to Zero Wealth, September 2017
2 Source: Pew Research, February 22, 2018
3 Source: Harvard Business Review, February 28, 2018
4 Source: The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, The Nationwide Gap in Racial College Graduation Rates, January 22, 2018
5 Source: The Center for American Progress, August 7, 2017.
6 Source: The Tapestry of Black Business Ownership in America: Untapped Opportunities for Success, February 16, 2017.

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#BDPA2020 • Atlanta, Georgia • August 20-22, 2020

Amazon Selects New York City and Northern Virginia for New Headquarters

Amazon Selects New York City and Northern Virginia for New Headquarters

SEATTLE—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Nov. 13, 2018 — Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced that it has selected New York City and Arlington, Virginia, as the locations for the company’s new headquarters. Amazon will invest $5 billion and create more than 50,000 jobs across the two new headquarters locations, with more than 25,000 employees each in New York City (BDPA-NY) and Arlington (BDPA NoVA). The new locations will join Seattle as the company’s three headquarters in North America. In addition, Amazon announced that it has selected Nashville for a new Center of Excellence for its Operations business, which is responsible for the company’s customer fulfillment, transportation, supply chain, and other similar activities. The Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville will create more than 5,000 jobs.

The new Washington, D.C. metro headquarters in Arlington will be located in National Landing, and the New York City headquarters will be located in the Long Island City neighborhood in Queens. Amazon’s investments in each new headquarters will spur the creation of tens of thousands of additional jobs in the surrounding communities. Hiring at both the new headquarters will begin in 2019. The Operations Center of Excellence will be located in downtown Nashville as part of a new development site just north of the Gulch, and hiring will also begin in 2019.

“We are excited to build new headquarters in New York City and Northern Virginia,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. “These two locations will allow us to attract world-class talent that will help us to continue inventing for customers for years to come. The team did a great job selecting these sites, and we look forward to becoming an even bigger part of these communities.”

Amazon in Long Island City in New York City

Located just across the East River from Midtown Manhattan and the Upper East Side, Long Island City is a mixed-use community where arts and industry intersect. It is a diverse community with a unique blend of cultural institutions, arts organizations, new and converted housing, restaurants, bars, breweries, waterfront parks, hotels, academic institutions, and small and large tech sector and industrial businesses. Long Island City has some of the best transit access in New York City, with 8 subway lines, 13 bus lines, commuter rail, a bike-sharing service, and ferries serving the area, and LaGuardia and JFK airports are in close proximity.

As part of Amazon’s new headquarters, New York and Long Island City will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with an opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $10 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion based on the company creating 25,000 jobs in Long Island City. This includes a refundable tax credit through New York State’s Excelsior Program of up to $1.2 billion calculated as a percentage of the salaries Amazon expects to pay employees over the next 10 years, which equates to $48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000; and a cash grant from Empire State Development of $325 million based on the square footage of buildings occupied in the next 10 years. Amazon will receive these incentives over the next decade based on the incremental jobs it creates each year and as it reaches building occupancy targets. The company will separately apply for as-of-right incentives including New York City’s Industrial & Commercial Abatement Program (ICAP) and New York City’s Relocation and Employment Assistance Program (REAP).

The community will benefit from New York City providing funding through a Payment In Lieu Of Tax (PILOT) program based on Amazon’s property taxes on a portion of the development site to fund community infrastructure improvements developed through input from residents during the planning process. Amazon has agreed to donate space on its campus for a tech startup incubator and for use by artists and industrial businesses, and Amazon will donate a site for a new primary or intermediary public school. The company will also invest in infrastructure improvements and new green spaces.

“When I took office, I said we would build a new New York State – one that is fiscally responsible and fosters a business climate that is attractive to growing companies and the industries of tomorrow. We’ve delivered on those promises and more, and today, with Amazon committing to expand its headquarters in Long Island City, New York can proudly say that we have attracted one of the largest, most competitive economic development investments in U.S. history,” said Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York. “With an average salary of $150,000 per year for the tens of thousands of new jobs Amazon is creating in Queens, economic opportunity and investment will flourish for the entire region. Amazon understands that New York has everything the company needs to continue its growth. The State’s more than $100 billion transportation infrastructure program – the most ambitious in our history – combined with our education initiatives like K-12 tech education and the first-in-the-nation Excelsior Scholarship program, will help ensure long-term success and an unrivaled talent pool for Amazon.”

“This is a giant step on our path to building an economy in New York City that leaves no one behind. We are thrilled that Amazon has selected New York City for its new headquarters,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City. “New Yorkers will get tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs, and Amazon will get the best talent anywhere in the world. We’re going to use this opportunity to open up good careers in tech to thousands of people looking for their foothold in the new economy, including those in City colleges and public housing. The City and State are working closely together to make sure Amazon’s expansion is planned smartly, and to ensure this fast growing neighborhood has the transportation, schools, and infrastructure it needs.”

Amazon in National Landing in Arlington, Virginia

National Landing is an urban community in Northern Virginia located less than 3 miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The area is served by 3 Metro stations, commuter rail access, and Reagan National Airport – all within walking distance. The community has a variety of hotels, restaurants, high-rise apartment buildings, retail, and commercial offices. National Landing has abundant parks and open space with sports and cultural events for residents of all ages throughout the year.

As part of Amazon’s new headquarters, Virginia and Arlington will benefit from more than 25,000 full-time high-paying jobs; approximately $2.5 billion in Amazon investment; 4 million square feet of energy-efficient office space with the opportunity to expand to 8 million square feet; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of $3.2 billion over the next 20 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of $573 million based on the company creating 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Arlington. This includes a workforce cash grant from the Commonwealth of Virginia of up to $550 million based on $22,000 for each job created over the next 12 years. Amazon will only receive this incentive if it creates the forecasted high-paying jobs. The company will also receive a cash grant from Arlington of $23 million over 15 years based on the incremental growth of the existing local Transient Occupancy Tax, a tax on hotel rooms.
The community and Amazon employees will benefit from the Commonwealth investing $195 million in infrastructure in the neighborhood, including improvements to the Crystal City and the Potomac Yards Metro stations; a pedestrian bridge connecting National Landing and Reagan National Airport; and work to improve safety, accessibility, and the pedestrian experience crossing Route 1 over the next 10 years. Arlington will also dedicate an estimated $28 million based on 12% of future property tax revenues earned from an existing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district for on-site infrastructure and open space in National Landing.

“This is a big win for Virginia – I’m proud Amazon recognizes the tremendous assets the Commonwealth has to offer and plans to deepen its roots here,” said Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia. “Virginia put together a proposal for Amazon that we believe represents a new model of economic development for the 21st century, and I’m excited to say that our innovative approach was successful. The majority of Virginia’s partnership proposal consists of investments in our education and transportation infrastructure that will bolster the features that make Virginia so attractive: a strong and talented workforce, a stable and competitive business climate, and a world-class higher education system.”

“We are proud that Amazon has selected National Landing for a major new headquarters. This is, above all, a validation of our community’s commitment to sustainability, transit-oriented development, affordable housing, and diversity,” said Arlington County Board Chair Katie Cristol. “The strength of our workforce coupled with our proximity to the nation’s capital makes us an attractive business location. But Arlington’s real strength is the decades of planning that have produced one of the most vibrant, civically engaged communities in the world. Those plans have paved the way for this investment, and we look forward to engaging the Arlington community about Amazon’s plans and how we can grow together.”

Amazon’s new Operations Center of Excellence in Nashville

Downtown Nashville, along the Cumberland River, is the heart of the city just north of the Gulch and is home to urban living, retail, restaurants, entertainment venues, hospitality, open green spaces, and offices. The area is served by commuter rail, more than a dozen bus routes, and is a 15-minute drive to Nashville International Airport.
As part of Amazon’s investment, Tennessee, Davidson County and the city of Nashville will benefit from 5,000 full-time, high-paying jobs; over $230 million in investment; 1 million square feet of energy-efficient office space; and an estimated incremental tax revenue of more than $1 billion over the next 10 years as a result of Amazon’s investment and job creation.

Amazon will receive performance-based direct incentives of up to $102 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000 in Nashville. This includes a cash grant for capital expenditures from the state of Tennessee of $65 million based on the company creating 5,000 jobs over the next 7 years, which is equivalent to $13,000 per job; a cash grant from the city of Nashville of up to $15 million based on $500 for each job created over the next 7 years; and a job tax credit to offset franchise and excise taxes from the state of Tennessee of $21.7 million based on $4,500 per new job over the next 7 years.

“We want to thank Amazon for its continued investment in the state of Tennessee and are excited about the additional 5,000 corporate jobs they will be creating in Nashville,” said Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee. “It has never been clearer that Tennessee is a great place to do business, and we continue to attract a wide variety of global companies that provide high-paying, quality jobs for our residents.”

“Amazon’s decision to expand its presence in Nashville is a direct result of the talented workforce and strong community we’ve built here,” said Mayor David Briley of Nashville. “These are quality, high-paying jobs that will boost our economy, provide our workers with new opportunities, and show the rest of the world that Nashville is a premiere location for business investment. We thank Amazon for investing in Nashville, and we look forward to welcoming them to this community.”

With more than 610,000 employees worldwide, including over 250,000 in North America, Amazon ranks #1 on American Customer Satisfaction Index, #2 on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, #1 on The Harris Poll’s Corporate Reputation survey, and #1 on LinkedIn’s U.S. Top Companies, a ranking recognizing the most desirable workplaces in the country. Amazon was also recently included in the Military Times’ Best for Vets list of companies committed to providing opportunities for military veterans.

— Photos: Virginia Economic Development Partnership
and Business Insider

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