Truist backs Chattanooga green/spaces training program and more business news – Chattanooga Times Free Press


Truist backs BIG youth training

A Chattanooga construction training program is getting another $10,000 from the the banking foundation at the Truist Financial Corp.

The BIG program, which just celebrated the launch of its first-class as an official Opportunity Youth Service Initiative (OYSI) site and The Corps Network partner, began several years ago in partnership with Build Me A World.

As a sustainable building workforce development program, participants receive a biweekly living allowance plus a continuing education stipend when they finish the program. They also complete community service projects throughout BIG, including extensive work with Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center, as well as small scale construction projects, like building a new greenhouse for Chattanooga’s Metropolitan Ministries.

«In addition to educational training and job placement assistance, BIG is also about inspiring a passion for craftsmanship, creating mentorship opportunities, and facilitating community connections,» said Program Director Christian Shackelford. «It’s about providing multiple avenues and painting a picture of the possibilities,» he said. Even among current members, post-program plans vary wildly.

Jim Vaughn, Chattanooga market president at Truist, said his bank «is committed to increasing economic resilience and building community strength» and «we’re proud to support green|spaces’ BIG program, as it’s preparing young adults for long-term success and advancing sustainable communities.»

Uber divests unit to build flying cars

A day after Uber handed its autonomous car project to a Silicon Valley startup, the company is doing the same with an ambitious and money-intensive effort to build flying cars.

Uber is handing its flying car project, Uber Elevate, to the air taxi startup Joby Aviation, the two companies said Tuesday. Uber will also invest $75 million in Joby’s effort to build a flying taxi, while agreeing to become partners with the startup when the flying car reaches the market.

By taking the two technology projects off the books, Uber management, under pressure to make the company profitable, is dumping initiatives that critics said were money pits while focusing on the company’s core ride-hailing service and one of the few bright spots in the pandemic: a fast-growing delivery service. Uber recently completed the acquisition of its competitor Postmates, allowing the company to double down on deliveries.

«I know there are questions about whether Uber has any ‘big, bold’ bets left,» Uber chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, said. «I understand that question, but I think it misses the big, bold bets right in front of us: to become the undisputed global leaders in both Mobility and Delivery.»

FireEye hacked by nation state

Prominent cybersecurity firm FireEye says it was hacked by what it believes was a national government.

The company said Tuesday that the attacker targeted and stole assessment tools that FireEye uses to test the its customers’ security and which mimic the methods used by hackers. It didn’t identify who it thought was responsible.

The stolen «Red Team» tools could be dangerous in the wrong hands, though FireEye said there’s no indication they have been used. The company said it has developed countermeasures to protect its customers and others.

Senate OKs Trump nominee to FCC

The Senate has narrowly approved President Donald Trump’s lame-duck nominee to become a member of the Federal Communications Commission, setting up the agency for a stretch of partisan gridlock likely to stymie President-elect Joe Biden’s policies.

The vote Tuesday was 49-46 along party lines to confirm Nathan Simington as one of five commissioners of the independent regulatory agency. Simington is now a senior adviser at the Commerce Department agency that advises the president on telecommunications and information policy. He played a role in the plan by the Republican-majority FCC, announced before last month’s election, to reexamine the legal protections enjoyed by social media companies like Facebook and Twitter for content that people post on their platforms.

The FCC plan came in response to Trump’s executive order in May challenging the long-held protections for social media companies from liability, which have served as the foundation for unfettered speech on the internet.

«Mr. Simington’s key qualification seems to be that he supports President Trump’s desired changes to Section 230, a law that regulates internet speech,» Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on the floor before the vote.

— Compiled by Dave Flessner

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