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Nashville Area Businesses Are Investing in Their Community

Nashville corporate citizens step up to the plate when it comes to housing and education initiatives. 

By Bill Lewis on November 7, 2022

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Illustration by Volodymyr Kryshtal

Companies know moving to the Nashville area is good for business. Still, their presence benefits the city, as many support initiatives for affordable housing developments and work with public schools to create career-readiness programs.

JPMorgan Chase, for example, has invested $7 million in the New Skills Ready program, which creates opportunities for underrepresented students from the Nashville area.

The program accelerates the development of critical career pathways for the region’s diverse economy. It supports the seamless transition of underrepresented students from Metro Nashville Public Schools into Nashville State Community College to earn a credential or degree and enter a high-wage, high-demand career.

Two years after the program’s launch, students are graduating and seeing the fruits of their labor.

Additionally, e-commerce giant Amazon supports an affordable housing initiative by the Urban League of Middle Tennessee (ULMT).

Amazon has taken up space in downtown’s Nashville Yards, rising in the old rail yard between Broadway and Charlotte Pike. The 16-acre site will have more than 5 million square feet of office, residential, entertainment and retail space. In addition, Amazon expects to create 5,000 corporate and technology jobs at its new Operations Center of Excellence.

Overcoming Obstacles

Amazon committed more than $5 million to ULMT’s Real Estate Developers Academy; an initiative focused on accelerating new opportunities for emerging real estate developers of color while increasing affordable housing in Nashville. The program, which is free for participants, aims to foster careers and overcome obstacles faced by emerging real estate developers.

“Corporate support — at a level that can have an impact in addressing systems that have prevented individuals of color from gaining access to capital and economic development — is vital to closing the disparity gaps that prevent people from building wealth and is huge,” says ULMT President and CEO Clift on Harris.

Over the past two years, Amazon has committed more than $94 million to affordable housing efforts in Nashville. The company has also partnered with Nashville State Community College to prepare more than 5,000 Tennesseans for cloud computing by 2025 and provided funds to support scholarships for members of underserved communities to pursue studies at Nashville State.

“We’re so proud of the progress these work-based learning opportunities are making for MNPS.”

Dan Lally, vice president of JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase’s New Skills Ready program creates opportunities for underrepresented students to participate in the city’s growth.

“We’re so proud of the progress these work-based learning opportunities are making for MNPS (Metro Nashville Public Schools) students,” says Dan Lally, vice president of JPMorgan Chase.

“This commitment is providing access to high-quality career pathways and helping to fuel Nashville’s economic transformation in an inclusive way. We look forward to continuing working with our partners to connect more students with opportunities to enter the workforce with the skills needed to succeed in high-demand careers,” Lally says.

If you’d like to learn more about the Greater Nashville region, check out the latest edition of the Nashville Economic Profile

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