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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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

Congress Hosts HBCU Leaders for Event on Education, R&D, and Prosperity

BDPA2020 | bdpa2020.com

WASHINGTON — Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) hosted the fourth annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Fly-In event with U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.)  This annual Fly-In represented nearly 40 HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs) across the country.

The Fly-In event featured two panels with members of Congress. One in the morning with Scott, Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), Senator Tim Kaine (D-Va.), and Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.). Walker hosted the second panel, which included guests U.S. Representative French Hill (R-A.R) and U.S. Representative Andy Barr (R-K.Y).

Among topics discussed were funding sources and the passage of the FUTURE Act, legislation Walker led to provide permanent resources for HBCUs and MSIs. Walker and Scott also led a robust session on the benefit of Opportunity Zones and economic policies to bridge economic and educational divides across minority communities.

Scott and Fly-In attendees honored Walker with a framed photo at the conclusion of the conference to thank him for his relentless dedication to HBCUs over the past six years. His district also includes the largest HBCU in the United States, North Carolina A&T State University.

Walker has been a champion of HBCUs and MSIs from the very beginning of his time in Congress, fighting for the funding and recognition they deserve. Walker also delivered welcoming remarks this week at the Thurgood Marshall College Fund’s (TMCF) Fly-In.

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U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) (above, center) moderates a panel with Senate colleagues (seated L-R) Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC). Senator Scott and Congressman Mark Walker (R-NC) co-hosted the Fourth Annual 2020 HBCU Fly-In in Washington, D.C. This annual event featured a bipartisan, bicameral coalition of Members of Congress to celebrate America’s more than 100 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Related funding discussions with both chambers of Congress, both sides of the aisle, Professional Staff, and event follow-up requests for HBCU/MSI inclusion include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing HBCU/MSI research and development (R&D) participation
  • Upgrading HBCU/MSI infrastructures
  • Developing and upgrading HBCU/MSI super-computing facilities, capabilities, training, and staffing
  • Increasing HBCU/MSI pipelines with robust High School and JROTC computer, cyber, robotics, and drone training with competitions from as early as 7th or 8th grades

Funding requests were submitted this quarter to the House and Senate’s respective professional staff  on Appropriations, Armed Services, or select Committees on Intelligence for the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) to fund legislative incentives to broaden mission-partnerships and increase subcontracts for HBCU/MSIs with Federally Funded Research and Development Centers (FFRDCs) and University Affiliated Research Centers (UARCs).  FFRDCs and UARCs are not-for-profit entities sponsored and primarily funded by the U.S. government to address technical needs that cannot be met as effectively by existing government or contractor resources.

Select here to read or download this edition.Similar funding requests for HBCU/MSIs also apply to the Department of Transportation (DOT) which invests in the future of transportation and “SMART Cities” through its University Transportation Centers (UTC) Program. The UTC program awards and administers grants to consortia of colleges and universities across the United States.

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), including Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-CA), who chairs the CBC and serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Congressman Anthony Brown (D-MD), who serves as Vice Chair of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) and on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, also participated.

— Sources and photos courtesy BDPA-DC and the offices
of Senator Tim Scott and Congressman Mark Walker

Commemorating Women's History Month

Comcast Buys AI-Based Cyber Tech Developer BluVector

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Comcast has purchased Arlington, Va.-based cybersecurity firm BluVector for an undisclosed sum.

BlueVector_logo_20190305BluVector develops and provides platforms based on artificial intelligence and machine learning designed to help government agencies and companies detect and address zero-day malware, ransomware and other cyber threats, Comcast said Friday.

Eric Malawer, a more than 20-year technology industry veteran, will serve as CEO of BluVector and lead the company’s growth efforts as part of Comcast.

“We’re thrilled that BluVector is part of Comcast and are excited to support its continued growth, even as we explore new opportunities to leverage BluVector technology and expertise,” said Don Mathis, general manager of growth at Comcast.

Kris Lovejoy, founding CEO of BluVector, will continue to serve as consultant and adviser to Comcast and BluVector.

Noopur Davis, chief information security officer at Comcast, will oversee efforts to identify opportunities to support new offerings and programs through the combined expertise and technologies of both firms.

Source and photos: Comcast

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#GLF2019

Accelerating America’s Leadership in Artificial Intelligence

“Continued American leadership in Artificial Intelligence is of paramount importance to maintaining the economic and national security of the United States.”

President Donald J. Trump

The White House logo

WHITE HOUSE (02.11.19) — In his 2019 State of the Union address, President Trump stressed the importance of investing in the cutting-edge Industries of the Future. Emerging technologies are driving the creation of the Industries of the Future, and none more so than artificial intelligence (AI). AI technologies are transforming nearly every area of our lives, from transportation to healthcare to education to security. Even now at the earliest stages of commercializing these technologies, we have seen the power and potential of AI to support workers, diagnose diseases, and improve our national security.

Americans have profited tremendously from being the early developers and international leaders in AI. However, as the pace of AI innovation increases around the world, we cannot sit idly by and presume that our leadership is guaranteed. We must ensure that advances in AI remain fueled by American ingenuity, reflect American values, and are applied for the benefit of the American people.

The American AI Initiative 

Today, President Trump is doing just that by signing an Executive Order launching the American AI Initiative. This Initiative will focus the resources of the Federal government to develop AI in order to increase our Nation’s prosperity, enhance our national and economic security, and improve quality of life for the American people. This initiative takes a multi-pronged approach to accelerating our national leadership in AI, and includes five key areas of emphasis:

1. Investing in AI Research and Development (R&D)

The initiative focuses on maintaining our Nation’s strong, long-term emphasis on high-reward, fundamental R&D in AI by directing Federal agencies to prioritize AI investments in their R&D missions. These investments will strengthen and leverage America’s unique and vibrant R&D ecosystem of industry, academia, and government, and prioritize Federal AI spending on cutting-edge ideas that can directly benefit the American people.

2. Unleashing AI Resources

The initiative directs agencies to make Federal data, models, and computing resources more available to America’s AI R&D experts, researchers, and industries to foster public trust and increase the value of these resources to AI R&D experts, while maintaining the safety, security, civil liberties, privacy, and confidentiality protections we all expect. This action will drive our top-notch AI research toward new technological breakthroughs and promote scientific discovery, economic competitiveness, and national security. These efforts will work in concert with the President’s Management Agenda and implementing the Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary, (OPEN) Government Data Act.

3. Setting AI Governance Standards

As part of the American AI Initiative, Federal agencies will foster public trust in AI systems by establishing guidance for AI development and use across different types of technology and industrial sectors. This guidance will help Federal regulatory agencies develop and maintain approaches for the safe and trustworthy creation and adoption of new AI technologies. This initiative also calls for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to lead the development of appropriate technical standards for reliable, robust, trustworthy, secure, portable, and interoperable AI systems.

4. Building the AI Workforce

BDPA HSCC Programs

To prepare our workforce with the skills needed to adapt and thrive in this new age of AI, the American AI Initiative calls for agencies to prioritize fellowship and training programs to help American workers gain AI-relevant skills through apprenticeships, skills programs, fellowships, and education in computer science and other growing Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. This action will help educate the AI R&D workforce our Nation needs to create and embrace new AI technologies.

5. International Engagement and Protecting our AI Advantage

Capitol domeThe Trump Administration is committed to promoting an international environment that supports AI R&D and opens markets for American AI industries while also ensuring that the technology is developed in a manner consistent with our Nation’s values and interests. Federal agencies will also develop and implement an action plan to protect the advantage of the United States in AI and technology critical to United States national and economic security interests against strategic competitors and foreign adversaries.

The American AI Initiative is accelerating our Nation’s leadership in AI. By driving technological breakthroughs in AI, breaking barriers to AI innovation, preparing our workforce for the jobs of the future, and protecting America’s advantage in AI we are ensuring that AI technologies continue to improve the lives of our people, create jobs, reflect our Nation’s values, and keep Americans safe at home and abroad.

— Source: The White House

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CES 2019 unveils Industry’s latest transformative technologies

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LAS VEGAS, NV — CES® 2019 opened this week, unveiling the latest transformative technologies that will redefine industries.

LG Electronics President and CTO Dr. I.P. Park kicked off the first keynote of 2019 with ambitions to create a world of connected, intuitive AI-powered technologies that will seamlessly work in unison to deliver unparalleled customer experience in all areas of life.

Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™ President and CEO Gary Shapiro and CES Executive Vice President Karen Chupka launched Day 1 of CES 2019 along with IBM Chairman, President and CEO Ginni Rometty, sharing insights on how technology is significantly improving the way businesses operate and how people live.

Verizon’s CEO Hans Vestberg kept the opening day excitement going in the afternoon with a keynote exploring the impact of 5G on improving education, aiding first responders and more.

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Beginning Sunday, BDPA Members, BDPA Student Members, bdpatoday staffers, and Interns  (above) arrived to attend Media Day events.  CES Unveiled Las Vegas, which exclusively launched for the media Sunday night, previewed industry’s latest announcements with award-winning innovations arriving later in the week on convention floors at the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and adjacent hotel exhibit halls.

Follow bdpatoday and PTTV (Popular Technology TV) throughout CES on the world’s largest technology stage via Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube for the latest.

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→ https://populartechnology.tv
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Partner, embrace, and support local BDPA Chapter programs (BDPA.org) and BDPA youth technology summits (above)  featuring 5G, AI, XR, data sciencecyber, autonomous systems, and quantum computing projects with coding competitions or research papers.

— Sources: CTA and BDPA
Photos © 2019 bdpatoday

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BDPA EARTH DAY TECH SUMMIT EVENTS 2019
#CyberEarth19

April 19-20th and April 22nd
Washington, D.C./Central Maryland
Contact: events@bdpadc.org | kia@bdpadc.org

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40-Year milestones marked by celebrations with Small Business, Academia, and Public Sector Executives

WASHINGTON, D.C. — BDPA Members, ICT Industry Mission-Partners, and Small Business executives visited Samsung’s Solutions Center during a 40th anniversary celebration and Holiday Soirée at 700 Penn in Washington, D.C. This season’s theme, “Innovation Beyond 5G“, was coined to welcome Industry’s next generation of professionals and students into our fifth decade of community service.

National BDPA’s Washington, D.C. Chapter (BDPADC) was chartered by Norman Mays in 1978. That same year, Samsung Electronics produced over 4 million black-and-white televisions, the most in the world. Later in 1978, Samsung Electronics established their first overseas office in the United States, Samsung Electronics America (SEA).

samdc05On Saturday, December 8, 2018, Samsung and BDPADC co-hosted this year’s 40-year milestone celebrations in Samsung’s new solutions center. Mr. Terry Halvorsen (above and left photos), Executive Vice President and CIO for Samsung Electronics America, Inc., hosted Small Business executives and BDPA Members for a very unique Holiday gathering and tour of the new Capitol Hill facility.

Located at 700 Penn, the solutions center showcases 5G and Secure-5G solutions with modular LED display technologies tailored for a wide variety of vertical industry sectors, demonstrations, and related policies.

For more information about BDPA, community programs across the nation’s 40 BDPA chapters, and technical career development activities within the National Capital Region, visit → BDPADC.org.

Join. Partner. Innovate beyond 5G with local BDPA Chapters and Mission Partners.

— Sources: Samsung USA and BDPA Washington, D.C.

2018 Holiday and 40th Anniversary Soirée | BDPADC.org Poster

ALC ‘18 Transportation Braintrust promotes a stronger tech and multimodal workforce for U.S.

WASHINGTON //BDPA-DC// — The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) of 2018 featured a very dynamic session on transportation with significant technical and critical infrastructure overtones. This year’s panel discussion entitled, “Workforce Development and Emerging Technologies” was sponsored by Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland 7th District). The panel, shown below, included former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney Slater as our moderator; MWAA CEO Jack Potter; Lyft senior public policy manager Rena Davis; WMATA director Nalini Mani; Purple Line Transit Partners CEO Fred Craig; HNTB Mid-Atlantic President Diana Mendes; and Telva McGruder, president of the General Motors African Ancestry Network (GMAAN) and director of facility engineering and manufacturing operations.

COMTO and CBCF ALC 2018

CBCF’s Transportation Braintrust was conceived over 20 years ago to provide a forum during the CBCF ALC for the top-level exchange of information and ideas between key leaders and experts in the transportation industry. This program has grown significantly under the guidance and sponsorship of Rep. Cummings and the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) leadership.

telva_mcgruder_GMAfter this session, Telva McGruder (left) told NNPA Newswire that General Motors (GM) is now at a point where they have African American Ancestry employees at higher levels in “effectively all of our business functions.”  GM’s new vision is a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion—BDPA and COMTO attendees realize GM cannot accomplish their vision without software and new applications.  Rena Davis, Lyft’s senior policy manager, reemphasized to bdpatoday that through Lyft Concierge, a web-based ride-dispatching platform, industry now has access to new tools that bring transportation services to new customers and underserved communities. Moreover, “Smart City” digital transformations and multimodal convergence of shared transportation opportunities will yield significant career opportunities for BDPA and COMTO members.

– Sources with GM and  bdpatoday photos: NNPA and BDPADC

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20 Cities Make Amazon’s HQ2 Short List

SEATTLE, WA – Amazon HQ2 will be Amazon’s second headquarters in North America. Amazon expects to invest over $5 billion in construction and grow this second headquarters to include as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs – it will be a full equal to their current campus in Seattle.

Top 20 cities from Atlanta to Washington are shown below.

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In addition to Amazon’s direct hiring and investment, construction and ongoing operation of Amazon HQ2 is expected to create tens of thousands of additional jobs and tens of billions of dollars in additional investment in the surrounding communities.

Amazon has more than 540,000 employees worldwide and all of them—from hourly associates to their most senior executives—have access to the same generous health benefits and parental leave, including innovative programs like Leave Share and Ramp Back. Amazon ranks #1 on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, #2 on Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies, #1 on The Harris Poll’s Corporate Reputation survey, and #2 on LinkedIn’s U.S. most desirable companies list. Amazon was also included in the Military Times’ Best for Vets list of companies committed to providing opportunities for military veterans.

What’s next? HQ2 will be the second Amazon headquarters in North America. The company is looking for a location with strong local and regional talent—particularly in software development and related fields—as well as a stable and business-friendly environment to continue hiring and innovating on behalf of our customers. In the coming months, Amazon will work with each of the candidate locations to dive deeper into their proposals, request additional information as necessary, and evaluate the feasibility of a future partnership that can accommodate their hiring plans as well as benefit their employees and the local community.  A decision is expected later this year.

Source and photo: Amazon.com, Inc.
Cover photo credit: LiquidityBook.com. 

Related article: AWS and In3DC presented: Underrepresented in Tech

 

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Smart Cities at CES2018

LAS VEGAS, NV — We have taken the fast lanes into the future at CES Smart Cities. Check out this show floor video from CESTV to discover more about some of the consumer technology innovations across emerging career and infrastructure areas of opportunity.

This year’s brand new Smart Cities Marketplace delivered multiple conference sessions that featured policymakers, city officials, industry innovators and more. Additionally, CES 2018 saw several hundred government leaders attend the show including one cabinet official, 10 members of congress and six international ministers.

“CES 2018 will be remembered as the year where the wattage of innovation was so huge that it caused a blackout!” said Bridget Karlin, IBM’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Vice President. “CES 2018 once again demonstrated that this is the world’s premiere showcase for technology innovation with unparalleled diversity from international public officials to industry leaders to entrepreneurs.”

Sources and cover photo credit: CTA, CESTV, and CES2018

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