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H-E-B Plans for World-Class Tech Facility in Austin

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H-E-B continues its path toward becoming a dominant force in the digital retail space, announcing that it has signed a long-term lease for a building in East Austin, according to its website.

The largest privately-held employer in Texas will develop a world-class tech facility and innovation lab for its growing H-E-B Digital team and Favor, the Austin-based on-demand delivery service that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of H-E-B.

Set for completion in spring 2019, H-E-B will turn the recently renovated industrial warehouse into a creative and collaborative workspace for Austin-based Partners (employees) of the H-E-B Digital team and Favor’s corporate headquarters. H-E-B also has a strong technology and digital presence at its corporate headquarters in San Antonio and will continue to grow its digital team in both cities.

H-E-B enlisted HPI Corporate Services as its tenant broker and has engaged global architecture firm, IA Interior Architects, to fully customize the two-story, 81,000 square-foot facility. Located at 2416 East Sixth Street, the property is walking distance to several amenities such as restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, and the 7th Street H-E-B store.

“This state-of-the-art space will be a hub for creativity and innovation as we continue to develop the ultimate digital experience for our customers,” said Jag Bath, H-E-B Chief Digital Officer and Favor CEO and President. “Bringing H-E-B and Favor closer together will allow us to promote collaboration between our two companies as we strengthen our commitment to building out H-E-B’s omnichannel services.”

With this expanded Austin footprint, H-E-B and Favor plan to add several hundred jobs to the local economy and are actively hiring across all areas of expertise, including product management, product design, and software engineering. Career opportunities can be found on the H-E-B and Favor websites.

This year, H-E-B has made a series of announcements and strategic technology investments to further establish the company as a technology leader in Texas, including the acquisition of Favor, the appointment of Bath as H-E-B’s Chief Digital Officer, and the recent addition of Mike Georgoff as Chief Product Officer for H-E-B Digital. In addition, H-E-B continues to enhance its digital offerings with the expansion of its H-E-B Delivery and H-E-B Curbside service, which is available in more than 145 locations across the Lone Star State and is on track to reach 165 stores in 2018.

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NFL – Roc Nation Partnership

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New York, NY – Roc Nation announced it has entered into a long-term partnership with the National Football League as the league’s official Live Music Entertainment Strategists. The partnership will begin as the NFL’s 100th season kicks off and will serve as a commitment from Roc Nation and the NFL to nurture and strengthen community through music and the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative.

Roc Nation will spearhead and advise on the selection of artists for NFL tentpole performances, including the Super Bowl, and will assist in the production and promotion of new music as well as culture- and cause-focused initiatives.  

A core component of the partnership will be to amplify the Inspire Change platform priority areas identified by NFL Players, including Education and Economic Advancement, Improving Police-Community Relations, and Criminal Justice Reform.

 “With its global reach, the National Football League has the platform and opportunity to inspire change across the country,” said Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter. “Roc Nation has shown that entertainment and enacting change are not mutually exclusive ideas – instead, we unify them. This partnership is an opportunity to strengthen the fabric of communities across America.”

Roc Nation and the NFL will work together to create and distribute music content across multiple music streaming services for a variety of initiatives. Roc Nation will work alongside the league with artists to curate the richness of football culture nationwide. Content initiatives may include a Live Visual Album, “Songs of the Season” original music, archived and current content from live NFL music events and artist podcasts.

“Roc Nation is one of the most globally influential and impactful organizations in entertainment,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “The NFL and Roc Nation share a vision of inspiring meaningful social change across our country. We are thrilled to partner with Roc Nation and look forward to making a difference in our communities together.”

Roc Nation will also consult and collaborate on various aspects of production, promotion, marketing, and communications for live music events and related activations, which include new endeavors such as Songs of the Season and a Pro Bowl Community Concert.

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We Buy Black Convention

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Black Consumers and Sellers Gear Up For Historic We Buy Black Convention

The second annual event plans to honor the enslaved Africans who arrived in 1619, and reclaim the power of Black commerce.

Attendees and founders of We Buy Black convention

This August marks 400 years since the first Africans reached the shores of Jamestown, Virginia where they were auctioned for sale as slaves. In remembrance of this historic event, one millennial entrepreneur is planning a different kind of sale – one that he hopes will impact the next 400 years of African-American history.

On Aug. 23-25, 2019, over 120 Black-owned vendors and consumers will gather at the second-annual We Buy Black Convention in Atlanta at the Georgia International Convention Center. There will be Black-owned companies selling everything from soaps and shea butter to laundry detergent, bed linens, and toothbrushes. While the items themselves may represent the routines of everyday life, event organizer and founder of e-commerce site WeBuyBlack.com, Shareef Abdul-Malik says that the impact of this singular commercial event has significance beyond its surface. 

“This year’s convention is deeper on a lot of levels because our people were brought to this country to be bought and sold,” said Abdul-Malik. “So, not only are we honoring our ancestors and how their struggle for freedom and justice got us where we are today, but we’re also reclaiming the effects of capitalism that enslaved us in the first place.”

At just 27, Abdul-Malik is already a veteran when it comes to connecting Black consumers with Black-owned businesses, but he hopes this convention will help get the Black community excited about the wide variety of high-quality products Black businesses have to offer and inspire others to become business owners themselves. 

“Our mission is for the average Black family to be able to easily and efficiently buy everything they want and need from a Black vendor,” Abdul-Malik said. “We’ve been able to help business owners sell and market their goods, but now we need more Black manufacturers.”

With the theme “Setting the Precedent for the Next 400 Years”, the convention will begin with the Inaugural The Next 400 Gala, honoring Yusuf Salaam of the Central Park 5, Mo’Nique the comedian and entertainer, Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf who preceded Kaepernick by 20 years and lost his NBA career due to his political stance, and lastly Dr. Key Hallmon of the Village Market ATL. This Gala will be hosted by Derrick Boazman of WAOK 1380 Radio, and Cleveland Councilman Bashir Jones will be the Keynote Speaker. There are only 400 tickets available to attend this Gala that Friday evening.

The weekend includes workshops on business ownership and manufacturing, alongside the vast array of Black-owned products that will be sold. There will also be B2B Speed Consulting Sessions and a “Shark Tank” style pitch competition called Pitch Black.

The event also boasts live performances from national and local recording artists, a Popcorn Competition, and a Children’s Village, where youth participants can engage with Black-owned brands and performers on their own level.

On Sunday, August 25th, The We Buy Black Convention will be the United States satellite location to observe the international moment of silence in commemoration for the 400 years. This weekend will be full of notable moments in our history and it’s definitely something that deserves our participation. 

“Even if you just come to replenish your supply of toothbrushes or get your child a new backpack for school, you’ve contributed to something that will help generations of Black people,” he said. “I think our ancestors would be proud of what we’re trying to do.”

We Buy Black Convention
Aug. 23-25, 2019
Georgia International Convention Center
2000 Convention Center Concourse – Atlanta, GA 30337
Tickets and more information can be found at www.webuyblackconvention.com.

About WeBuyBlack.com

WeBuyBlack.com is the largest online marketplace for Black-owned businesses and individual sellers. By giving Black businesses and sellers access to a diverse, open, and international market, WeBuyBlack stimulates the circulation of wealth among the Black Diaspora and assists Black businesses in providing for families and communities at large.

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Amazon’s Pledge

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Amazon Pledges to Upskill 100,000 U.S. Employees for In-Demand Jobs by 2025

Amazon will invest over $700 million to provide upskilling training programs for one in three of its employees across the U.S.

Programs will help Amazonians from all backgrounds access training to move into highly skilled technical and non-technical roles across the company’s corporate offices, tech hubs, fulfillment centers, retail stores, and transportation network, or pursue career paths outside of Amazon

Based on a review of its workforce and analysis of U.S. hiring, Amazon’s fastest growing highly skilled jobs over the last five years include data mapping specialist, data scientist, solutions architect and business analyst, as well as logistics coordinator, process improvement manager and transportation specialist within our customer fulfillment network

Employee upskilling investment builds on Amazon’s $15 minimum wage and comprehensive benefits including medical insurance, 401k savings plan, and generous parental leave

Amazon’s Upskilling 2025 pledge invests in a range of new upskilling programs to serve employees from all backgrounds and Amazon locations. Programs include Amazon Technical Academy, which equips non-technical Amazon employees with the essential skills to transition into, and thrive in, software engineering careers; Associate2Tech, which trains fulfillment center associates to move into technical roles regardless of their previous IT experience; Machine Learning University, offering employees with technical backgrounds the opportunity to access machine learning skills via an on-site training program; AmazonCareer Choice, a pre-paid tuition program designed to train fulfillment center associates in high-demand occupations of their choice; Amazon Apprenticeship, a Department of Labor certified program that offers paid intensive classroom training and on-the-job apprenticeships with Amazon; and AWS Training and Certification, which provide employees with courses to build practical AWS Cloud knowledge that is essential to operating in a technical field.

“Through our continued investment in local communities in more than 40 states across the country, we have created tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S. in the past year alone,” said Beth Galetti, Senior Vice President, HR. “For us, creating these opportunities is just the beginning. While many of our employees want to build their careers here, for others it might be a stepping stone to different aspirations. We think it’s important to invest in our employees, and to help them gain new skills and create more professional options for themselves. With this pledge, we’re committing to support 100,000 Amazonians in getting the skills to make the next step in their careers.”

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