Apple and Google partner on COVID-19 contact tracing technology

CUPERTINO, CA — Across the world, governments and health authorities are working together to find solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, to protect people and get society back up and running. Software developers are contributing by crafting technical tools to help combat the virus and save lives. In this spirit of collaboration, Google and Apple are announcing a joint effort to enable the use of Bluetooth technology to help governments and health agencies reduce the spread of the virus, with user privacy and security central to the design.

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Since COVID-19 can be transmitted through close proximity to affected individuals, public health officials have identified contact tracing as a valuable tool to help contain its spread. A number of leading public health authorities, universities, and NGOs around the world have been doing important work to develop opt-in contact tracing technology. To further this cause, Apple and Google will be launching a comprehensive solution that includes application programming interfaces (APIs) and operating system-level technology to assist in enabling contact tracing. Given the urgent need, the plan is to implement this solution in two steps while maintaining strong protections around user privacy.

First, in May, both companies will release APIs that enable interoperability between Android and iOS devices using apps from public health authorities. These official apps will be available for users to download via their respective app stores.

Second, in the coming months, Apple and Google will work to enable a broader Bluetooth-based contact tracing platform by building this functionality into the underlying platforms. This is a more robust solution than an API and would allow more individuals to participate, if they choose to opt in, as well as enable interaction with a broader ecosystem of apps and government health authorities. Privacy, transparency, and consent are of utmost importance in this effort, and we look forward to building this functionality in consultation with interested stakeholders. We will openly publish information about our work for others to analyze.

All of us at Apple and Google believe there has never been a more important moment to work together to solve one of the world’s most pressing problems. Through close cooperation and collaboration with developers, governments and public health providers, we hope to harness the power of technology to help countries around the world slow the spread of COVID-19 and accelerate the return of everyday life.

As part of this partnership, Google and Apple are releasing draft technical documentation including Bluetooth and cryptography specifications and framework documentation.

by Fred Sainz
Apple

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D.C. Mayor Delivers a $4.6 Million Technology Investment with 16,400 Devices to Students

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WASHINGTON – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Public Schools (DCPS) began delivering more than 16,400 technology devices to students across all eight wards as a part of the Empowered Learner’s Initiative. The initiative is a comprehensive three-year commitment by Mayor Bowser to close the digital divide and empower DCPS students through access to state-of-the-art technology.

“Last year, our community made clear that they wanted us to invest more in technology in our schools – and we answered that call with a $4.6 million investment in new devices for our young learners,” said Mayor Bowser. “But this investment isn’t just about buying devices – it’s about ensuring our students and teachers have the programs and resources they need to help us close the digital divide in Washington, DC.”

Last year, Mayor Bowser made an initial $4.6 million investment in technology to provide every student in grades 3, 6, and 9 with a device to use at school, and students in all other grades will have a 3:1 student-to-device ratio in the classroom. After ensuring schools had the necessary technology infrastructure and providing professional development to educators, classrooms are receiving the Microsoft Surface Go to enhance teaching and learning.

dc-tablets-farabee2020“DCPS is excited to begin delivering on our commitment to close the digital divide and empower students across the district in innovative ways,” said DC Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee (above left, with students). “This year, students in grades 3, 6, and 9 will receive Microsoft Surface Go’s that will enhance their learning experience and advance college and career success. I thank Mayor Bowser for her investment in the Empowered Learner’s initiative and look forward to providing even more students with access to state-of-the-art technology over the next three years.”

After students and educators tested the Microsoft Surface Go, it was selected for its agility, durability, and long-battery life. The Surface Go has a world-facing camera for video and photography, and an inking stylus for drawing and writing.

Since the beginning of the school year, teachers, technology specialists, and operations staff engaged in professional development focused on this new technology. Students are receiving digital citizenship lessons, published by Common Sense Media, to make safe and responsible decisions online.

“We want to ensure the new technology provides the best experience for students and have been testing and optimizing to make that a reality,” said DC Chief Technology Officer Lindsey Parker. “Nearly 50 technicians are trained and ready to support students and teachers the moment the devices enter the classroom and students log-in.”

Tablets For TeensThe devices will stay in the classroom so teachers can continue to use the technology to enhance their instruction. Families can expect to see their third grade students using the devices to apply the math skills they learn to control Sphero robots; high school students enrolled in credit recovery can have full access to digital resources and assessment that will help them master the course content; and teachers can provide personalized strategies to meet every student’s individual needs through both in-person and digital instruction.

Next fiscal year, Mayor Bowser plans to make another multimillion dollar investment in technology to provide a device for every student in grades 4, 7, and 10. To learn more about the devices, families can visit the District’s Empowered Learners Initiative website.

Source and photo: Office of the Mayor
Cover photo courtesy: Debbie Truong

* Resources for DCPS parents, teachers, and students are linked here.


** Related articles on BDPA-DC’s Tablets For Teens or National BDPA’s Mobile App Showcase programs are linked here.


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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.

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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

STEM Conference honors Army CIO as 2020 Black Engineer of the Year

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WASHINGTON — Lieutenant General Bruce T. Crawford, U.S. Army, who was sworn in as the Army Chief Information Officer (CIO) on Aug. 1. 2017, was awarded the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) for his outstanding efforts to mentor the next generation of American scientists, technologists, and engineers.

As the Army’s chief information officer and G-6, Lt. Gen. Crawford reports both to the secretary of the Army as CIO, and also to the chief of staff of the Army as G-6.

He sets the strategic direction of the Army network and supervises all command, control, communications, and computers (C4) and Information Technology (IT) functions. He also oversees the Army’s $12.2 billion IT programs, manages enterprise IT architecture, establishes and enforces IT policies, and directs the delivery of C4IT capabilities to support war-fighters and business users.

As the G-6, he advises the Chief of Staff of the Army on the network, communications, signal operations, information security, force structure, and equipping.

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JROTC photo at BEYA2020 courtesy Neal Daniels, Dunbar High School, Washington, D.C.

A native of Columbia, South Carolina, he was commissioned through South Carolina State University’s Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program on May 28, 1986, after graduating as a Distinguished Military Graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also holds a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.

ICYMI | bdpatoday 02.15.20During his 33 years of service, LTG Crawford served in leadership positions at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. In previous assignments, he served as commanding general, U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), director of C4/Cyber and Chief Information Officer, U.S. European Command (EUCOM), commanding general, 5th Signal Command (Theater); and G-6, U.S. Army Europe in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Each year, the annual BEYA Conference hosts award ceremonies for people who create innovation and inspiration, opening up opportunities for careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. Black Engineer of the Year awards are made based upon peer-reviews of hundreds of nominations submitted by organizations and employers across the country.

— Sources, photos, and original articles: blackengineer.com and bdpatoday

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HSCC Season Opens with HBCU Festival and Auto Show

Discover new cyber and technical careers in Air and Space.

WASHINGTON—This week, Industry welcomed the ‘Class of 2024’ to a new decade of unlimited opportunities to explore technical and innovative careers. The National Capital Region hosted the 18th annual HBCU Festival, The Washington Auto Show®, and the annual High School Coding Competition (HSCC) season opener.

hscc19-team_commentsThe HSCC kick-off was powered by America’s 2019 National Coding Champions, BDPA of Greater Washington, D.C. (BDPAdc.org). Their journey to BDPACon20 in Atlanta is underway, as a new decade brings with it increased regional participation welcoming JROTC units, HSCC teams from Baltimore, the District, Northern Virginia, and Central Maryland, and new collegiate chapters.

hbcufest_asbc2020aIndustry’s Historically Black College and University (HBCU) pipelines continue to grow with inclusive programs, impact investments, and support for annual HBCU Festivals. The Alfred Street Baptist Church Foundation (ASBC) hosted their 18th Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities College Festival at the Gaylord National Resort Convention Center this Saturday where scholarships and acceptance letters were awarded on site during the festival!

The annual Festival is dedicated to connecting high school students and parents to HBCUs, while helping more students enter college to ensure HBCUs meet enrollment goals.  Since 2003, the Festival has connected more than 35,000 students and parents to academic institutions. Many students are first-generation college students, and in some cases, institutions participating in the Festival are the only available choices for these budding scholars.

ASBC HBCU Festival 2020

The Washington Auto Show®, a world class event, continues to wow audiences this week with its cutting-edge exhibits, latest model cars and displays of historic vehicles. Opening January 24 this year, the Auto Show will continue to emphasize and showcase the latest innovations in sustainable automotive technologies. As the largest show in Washington, D.C., their “Public Policy Show” features special events and announcements for officials in government, industry and the media.

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Students and BDPA Student Members interested in automotive careers, modeling and simulation, gamification (gaming), and next generation infrastructure opportunities are invited to participate in this year’s Earth Day Tech Summit next April co-hosted by National BDPA’s Greater Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPAdc.org).

Source and photos BDPAdc

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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

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  • 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

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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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CTA Announces Official Media Days Schedule for CES 2020

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Arlington, VA, November 14, 2019 – The Consumer Technology Association (CTA)® today announced the  official lineup for CES® 2020 Media Days, featuring two days of exclusive news events from top exhibitors, CES Unveiled Las Vegas and a CTA presentation of anticipated technology trends for 2020.

This year’s Media Days lineup features top exhibitors breaking news and offering exclusive looks at what they plan to showcase at CES 2020. Exhibitors include: Bosch, Brunswick Corporation, BYTON, Continental Automotive, Faurecia, Hisense, Hyundai, Impossible Foods, Intel, LG Electronics, Living in Digital Times, Panasonic, Procter & Gamble, Qualcomm, Sony, Taiwan Excellence, TCL, Toyota, UHD Alliance, Valeo, ZF and more.

ces15-statue - CopyOpen exclusively to registered CES media, Media Days programming will take place at Mandalay Bay and run Sunday, Jan. 5, from 1-8 PM and Monday, Jan. 6, from 8 AM-6 PM. Select here to view a full schedule.

Two major keynotes will immediately follow Media Day 2. Samsung will deliver a CES pre-show keynote address at 6:30 PM on Monday, Jan. 6 in the Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom. And later that evening, Daimler will take the keynote stage at 8:30 PM on Monday, Jan. 6 at the Park Theater at the Park MGM Hotel. Visit the CES Keynote Addresses page on CES.tech for more information about keynote.

Owned and produced by CTA, CES 2020, the global stage for innovation, will run Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas and provides access to the most transformative tech across various marketplaces, such as 5G, artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart home, smart cities, vehicles, digital health and more. Industry leaders and rising stars will come together to pioneer future innovation driving the ever-evolving tech industry.

— Consumer Technology Association (CTA)®

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Amazon’s Future Engineer Program funds High School Computer Science Courses

Jeff Bezos visits Dunbar High School in Washington,D.C. Amazon launches Future Engineer Program

SEATTLE, WA—Amazon today announced it reached a new milestone—through its Amazon Future Engineer program, it is funding computer science courses in more than 2,000 high schools supporting students from underserved and underrepresented communities across the country. Benefiting more than 100,000 high school students, from Nenana, Alaska to Washington, D.C., Amazon is funding full-year Intro and AP computer science courses, primarily for public Title I schools that have never offered AP computer science courses before. Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part, childhood-to-career program that works to inspire and educate 10 million children and young adults each year from underserved and underrepresented communities to try computer science.

“We applaud the teachers who took the initiative to bring these courses to their deserving students, and we are humbled to be a part of the important work they do in their classrooms across the country every single day,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO Worldwide Consumer, Amazon. “This is an important milestone for our Amazon Future Engineer program and its quest to make sure more students, especially those from underserved and underrepresented communities, have the access to and the opportunity to dive deep into an exciting computer science education.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 there will be 1.4 million computer-science-related jobs available and only 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills to apply for those jobs. Computer science is the fastest-growing profession within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field, but only 8% of STEM graduates earn a computer science degree, with a tiny minority from underprivileged backgrounds. Students from underprivileged backgrounds are 8 to 10 times more likely to pursue college degrees in computer science if they have taken AP computer science in high school.

amazon-bezos-kindleAmazon Future Engineer provides access to computer science courses in more than 2,000 schools through its curriculum providers – Edhesive and Code.org. Since the beginning of the 2019/2020 school year, the vast majority of the high schools accepted in the Amazon Future Engineer program are public schools that have received or are eligible for Title I funding.

“Having Amazon Future Engineer fund courses for our students in rural Oregon means we are able to give our students exposure to technology rich skills that directly impact their future career choice,” said Kyle Sipe, Instructional Coach and Robotics Mentor, Umatilla High School. “Because of this program, we can alter the knowledge base of our students and assist them to select a career that better suits our local job market’s needs. Amazon Future Engineer has given our kids the amazing opportunity to get relevant and applicable technology content.”

“We have future scientists, engineers, and inventors in our classrooms throughout the District, and I am proud that we have resources like Amazon’s Future Engineer program to provide them with the learning opportunities they need to achieve their goals,” said District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Lewis D. Ferebee. “We are excited to welcome the Amazon team to Dunbar High School to see our students in action, and their passion and excitement for computer science is what drives us to continue to expand our STEM programming through National Academy Foundation (NAF) Academies, courses, extracurricular activities, and more.”

“As demand for computer science skills impacts a wide range of industries from manufacturing to customer service, the demand for a diverse labor force equipped with technical capabilities also rises,” said Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI). “It’s why we applaud all efforts from the public and private sector to increase access to a robust computer science education and to nurture the growth of our nation’s economy. I am looking forward to seeing all that the next generation of students in Michigan’s 11th district will achieve, as the Amazon Future Engineer program launches at high schools there and across the country.”

The Amazon Future Engineer high schools will receive funding from Amazon to offer Intro & AP computer science courses. Amazon’s funding also provides preparatory lessons, tutorials, professional development for teachers, fully sequenced and paced digital curriculum for students, and live online support every day of the week for both teachers and students. All educators and students participating in this program have access to a no-cost membership with AWS Educate, Amazon’s global initiative to provide students comprehensive resources for building skills in cloud technology. Students will receive content to learn about cloud computing and access to the AWS cloud for their coding projects.

Launched in November 2018, Amazon Future Engineer is a four-part childhood-to-career program intended to inspire, educate, and prepare children and young adults from underrepresented and underserved communities to pursue careers in the fast-growing field of computer science. Each year, Amazon Future Engineer aims to inspire millions of kids to explore computer science; provides over 100,000 young people in over 2,000 high schools access to Intro or AP Computer Science courses; awards 100 students with four-year $10,000 scholarships, as well as offers guaranteed and paid Amazon internships to gain work experience. Amazon Future Engineer is part of Amazon’s $50 million investment in computer science/STEM education. In addition, Amazon Future Engineer has donated more than $10 million to organizations that promote computer science/STEM education across the country.

Cover photo: Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, visits an Amazon-funded computer science class at Dunbar High School in Washington D.C.
— Source and photos: Amazon and NBC Washington

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Next Generation Digerati are no strangers to ‘Hidden Figure$​’​

Annual IT Summit in D.C. Broadens Tech-Inclusion and Community Outreach

WASHINGTON — Helping Other People Excel.

Now in its tenth year, H.O.P.E. Project DMV (HOPE) has successfully developed a proven approach to broaden community engagements within the tech industry and the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). HOPE’s program sources untapped talent from traditionally underserved communities for classified and unclassified entry level technology roles. Starting salaries for GED credentialed candidates, high school graduates, and returning citizens with newly minted tech industry certifications approach $35,000 for tens of thousands of unfilled entry level and junior level technology positions. Several alumni already have reached HOPE’s “six-figure” club — some with Top Secret security clearances; A+, Network+, and Security+ certifications.

H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019Opening these exciting new career pathways to a better way of life for families not only provides peace of mind, but significantly impacts economic growth for communities in the National Capital Region. Moreover, according to Defense One, technology is drastically altering what makes our nation strong, prosperous, and secure. The DIB is not only becoming a strategic innovation base, but a military artificial intelligence (AI) complex.

Founded by Raymond Bell, Jr., HOPE knows this all too well and has always recognized an urgent need to upskill local communities since inception. Over 25 cohorts later and owning unique relationships with industry trade associations such as CompTIA, HDI, and BDPA, HOPE continues to prepare HOPE alumni for advanced pursuits, and certifies cybersecurity professionals for trans-generational sustainment. Moreover, HOPE alumni are industry’s new project managers and hiring managers.

hopeIT19j.jpgSean G. Conner (left) of 22nd Century Technologies, Inc. was this year’s keynote presenter and one of HOPE’s panelists from industry. He listed career opportunities in Defense and Health IT. His firm has successfully captured new defense contracts in the Pentagon, in Maryland, and in Florida.

This year’s panel featured Richard Honesty from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bea Braxton, CEO of BeaKen Systems & Technology Solutions Inc., and Perry Carter, President of National BDPA’s Greater Washington D.C. Chapter. Panelists stated today’s leading digital companies have disrupted every industry they have touched, from publishing to automotive. Digital transformations determine how industry identifies and sources raw talent from every community. Yet far too often, future workforces are left out of groundbreaking innovations and economic development opportunities, especially those 18 to 24 years of age.

H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019Sergeant First Class Warren Martinez (above) highlights current training opportunities in cyber, telecommunications, and information technology with the United States Army. For those entering technical fields or seeking security clearances with additional income as a reservist, access to the Army’s specialized training, high-tech equipment, and cyber operations are unavailable in most civilian jobs and becomes extremely invaluable on technical resumes when presented across growth industries.

New technologies notwithstanding, emerging success stories with industry and the DIB from suppliers and local communities hardly ever are deemed newsworthy. HOPE has changed this narrative. This year’s I.T. Summit was an annual value-packed information technology conference with Industry offered at no cost to District Residents, HOPE students and alumni, BDPA Members, and the public. Participants were able to discover new concepts while discussing industry’s requirements with HOPE alumni and Industry panelists. Government contracting with related start-up opportunities, acquiring security and facilities clearances, and pursuing degrees while entering technology fields were H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019discussed.

The following workshops were offered this year:

  • Interviewing for I.T. Jobs, Building I.T. Resumes, Working with Recruiters and Job Boards
  • HOT Technical Certifications and Cybersecurity Tools
  • “Must-Have” Technical Skills for Entry and Mid-level I.T. Jobs
  • A Day in the Life” of a HOPE Project’s World Class IT Help Desk Professional

Rocking her new ‘HOPE Hoodie’, Ms. Alaisha Etheredge (inset photo), shares dashboard and analytical reporting requirements during her session. Attendees discussed using the latest security information and event management (SIEM) tools such as Splunk and related certification tracks from novice to expert.

Conference and tech summit attendees met with IT professionals, small business executives, and workshop presenters, some of whom “walked in the same shoes” and recently launched their careers with HOPE.

H.O.P.E. Project IT Summit 2019During this year’s sessions, participants discovered how to prepare for an IT career within any vertical industry segment such as defense, healthcare, or transportation while acquiring practice skills that helps one succeed with certification testing toward any assignment.

For additional information, visit HOPE’s landing page at http://www.hopeprojectdc.org. HOPE is real.

Photo credits: H.O.P.E. Project DMV (top) and BDPA-DC . Raymond Bell, Jr. and Theresa Caldwell contributed to this article for bdpatoday.

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