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Love Thy Neighbor: Nashville Businesses Celebrate Corporate Citizenship

Nashville businesses have a long history of investing in community causes.

By Teree Caruthers on September 24, 2021

Madison Middle School, in Nasvhille, is taking part in Amazon’s Future Engineer program.
Metro Nashville Public Schools

The Nashville Region’s corporate community has long roots in philanthropic work and community improvement efforts.

Longstanding companies such as Ingram Industries and HCA Healthcare have helped write that volunteerism and spirit of giving into the region’s corporate DNA. Now, as the Nashville Region attracts a new generation of companies, that emphasis on community stewardship is playing out in different ways.

Making Housing More Affordable

Take Amazon, which arrived in the region in 2010 and has since invested millions of dollars in supporting the schools and organizations that promote housing security for residents.

The company has donated more than $2 million to affordable housing efforts. In 2021, it announced it would commit $75 million more to help build 800 homes for low-income families along heavily traveled public transit corridors.

“Amazon’s $2.25 million donation to The Housing Fund will immediately support hundreds of families across Nashville,” says Holly Sullivan, head of worldwide economic development at Amazon.

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YMCA of Middle Tennessee

A Commitment to Career Readiness

AllianceBernstein, a global asset management firm and recent arrival to the region, has supported postsecondary education and career readiness as a pillar of its corporate citizenship.

“When we relocated to Tennessee in 2018, one of the first things we created in our Nashville office was a dedicated community relations program,” says Kate Chinn, vice president and head of community and civic engagement. “To help shape our strategy, we spent time meeting and listening to the community to identify the biggest needs in the region and to determine how and where we could make the greatest impact.”

The firm decided that creating opportunities for all students to reach their full potential was a great need and is aligned with its values.

Quality for All

Chinn says the company focused on investing time and resources into education initiatives in Middle Tennessee.

“We believe that, in order to have a thriving city, a prepared future workforce and a strong talent pipeline, we need to invest in initiatives and programs where the talent pipeline begins,” Chinn says.

“Like many other cities, Nashville was hit hard by the pandemic. But we’ve already seen signs of the economy recovering, and sectors like health care and technology offer great career opportunities for young people.”

Ryan Flury/JPMorgan Chase

The company has also invested in the Nashville Public Library Foundation, United Way Greater Nashville, Rock the Street Wall Street, Junior Achievement of Middle Tennessee, YMCA Achievers Program, the Martha O’Bryan Center and Nashville GRAD with Nashville State Community College. Chinn says the company has prioritized giving back to the city that has given so much.

“The people of Nashville have welcomed our employees with open arms,” she says. “We truly believe in the city of Nashville and its future and feel that it is our duty to continue to make Nashville a great place to live and work.”

Closing the Wealth Gap

JPMorgan Chase, a global investment bank and financial services holding company, made Nashville one of seven communities where it committed $7 million to support career pathways for underrepresented students through its New Skills Ready Initiative.

“Like many other cities, Nashville was hit hard by the pandemic. But we’ve already seen signs of the economy recovering, and sectors like health care and technology offer great career opportunities for young people,” says Ryan Flury, executive director and Nashville market leader for JPMorgan Chase.

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