Boating, Marine and Maritime, Business, Economic Development, Environment and Ecology, Free News Articles, Sciences

Pompano Beach to Test SEAHIVE Shoreline Protection System at Wahoo Bay

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- Scientists, government officials and citizens concerned about climate change and sea level rise will soon have a new source of data when Wahoo Bay in Pompano Beach launches. This underwater marine park will become a global incubator for the ocean's ecosystem and will test the SEAHIVE™ marine and estuarine shoreline protection system, a research project funded by the National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (IDEA) in collaboration with FDOT.

The team at Wahoo Bay collaborated with scientists and engineers from the University of Miami's College of Engineering and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science with the hope that green engineering solutions will prove to be superior to traditional measures such as the controversial U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' proposal to wall-off Miami against water.

"There are a variety of potential solutions being discussed to combat sea level rise and protect areas like South Florida from the impacts of flooding, erosion and wave attack," explained Rob Wyre, Chairman of Shipwreck Park. "However, many of the options can be detrimental to the overall ecosystem. Wahoo Bay will play a critical role in helping scientists and government officials test the SEAHIVE system, while the park itself will create an environment for local, national and international scientific experiments and collaboration."

The SEAHIVE™ configuration for Wahoo Bay combines a modular concrete structure with adequate complexity and material composition with mangroves. The projection is that the system will not only reduce flooding and erosion in the area but will be hospitable to sea life, creating an eco-laboratory for Wahoo Bay visitors.

"We are very excited to be collaborating with the team at Wahoo Bay, said Landolf Rhode-Barbarigos, an assistant professor of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering at the University of Miami who is part of the SEAHIVE™ development team. "They were very enthusiastic about implementing our research in Pompano Beach, and our discussions with Rob Wyre led to the idea of utilizing red mangroves in the design, resonating our ideas towards a 'green-gray' approach. Wahoo Bay will be an important test for the SEAHIVE system and will provide invaluable data as we search for the most viable solutions to preserve coastal areas."

Wahoo Bay is a Shipwreck Park initiative that will be run by the City of Pompano Beach's Parks and Recreation Department and supported by community volunteers.

This educational initiative is expected to begin construction this September and will cost more than $1 million to complete. Additional funding is required, donations can be made at


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*Caption: Rendering of Wahoo Bay.

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Transportation

Indiana 5G Zone to Host Panel Discussion and Demonstrations on Revolutionary ‘Smart Transportation’ Technologies

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Indiana 5G Zone will host a virtual afternoon dedicated to innovative "smart transportation" technologies on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 2 p.m. ET. The event, which features speakers and demonstrations from leaders in the field, will highlight the potential advantages of adopting these technologies and their impact on the US economy.

"If the United States is going to maintain its lead in the global economy, it will need to adopt many of the 'smart transportation' technologies that we will highlight this week," said Sean Hendrix, managing director of the Indiana 5G Zone. "Our goal is to give these companies, universities and institutions, large and small, the opportunity to highlight their innovations and give interested parties a sense of what is coming down the pike in the near future."

"Smart transportation will revolutionize the way we move people and goods," said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, House Judiciary Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. "Our challenge, as a country, is figuring out how to provide an environment that allows institutions working in this field to bring their innovations to market. I look forward to hearing from and meeting with the innovative companies working with the Indiana 5G Zone that are making these groundbreaking technologies possible."

The three-hour afternoon event will feature presentations and demonstrations over three hours from the following leaders in the field, including:

* Advanced Renewable Power LLC (ARP)
* Autonomous Indiana
* City of Los Angeles
* Hawaii 5G Zone
* Indiana 5G Zone
* Indiana Economic Development Corporation
* May Mobility
* Mobility Insight
* Performance Defense
* Puerto Rico 5G Zone
* Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), member of the House Homeland Security Committee, House Judiciary Committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and Smart transportation advocate.
* Verizon
* Wovenware
* XQ

"Our goal is to highlight the work we are doing with self-protecting data and our partnerships with other companies that are making important contributions to smart transportation," remarked Brian Wane, CEO of XQ. "By doing so, we are highlighting the opportunities that exist for companies to adopt technologies, such as perimeterless zero-trust 5G, that will bring today's transportation into the 21st Century."

For more information or to register for the event, visit the IN5GZ's website:

Kasia Chaberski
Indiana 5G Zone
Phone Number: 503-388-1963

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Advertising and Marketing, Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government

Local Community Gift Card Program Shows up to 8X ROI on Federal Funds Invested to Help Small Businesses in Pandemic Recovery

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- As communities strive to help their local businesses weather the pandemic storm, Yiftee has grown to more than 270 Community eGift Cards across the United States and executed 74 "Buy-One-Get-One" programs. These programs enlist entire communities in purchasing eGift Cards that can only be spent at local businesses, where the card buyers also receive free bonus gifts for their own use.

Yiftee and Whatcom County, WA teamed up to measure the revenue impact of their program for small businesses in Whatcom County. Between money spent on community card purchases, bonus cards funded by the CARES Act, and overspend on the gift cards and bonus cards, the analysis found that the bonus program investment was returned by 2X in its first month, 4X after 3 months and could return up to 8X over the next year when the majority of the purchased cards have been redeemed.

Data shows more than 30% is typically spent over the card value

Derek Long, Executive Director of Sustainable Connections in Bellingham, WA, who worked with Whatcom County government to fund the bonus cards and marketing to support it said, "The card buyer survey showed that on average, people spend 34% more than the purchased cards and 31% more than the bonus cards. We returned 2X our bonus card investment in the first month, and now we are at 4X with potential to double that as more cards are redeemed over the next year or so."

Sandy Ward, President and CEO of Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism added, "The Whatcom County community has really rallied to help our small businesses and we are thrilled with the results. The bonus funds sold out quickly in December, and people have continued to purchase the Whatcom County Think Local First cards, with thousands more purchased after the bonus ran out."

Besides the CARES Act in Q4 2020, Yiftee is seeing funds for similar programs coming from corporate sponsors, tourism offices, city and county governments, and most recently federal funds from the American Recovery Plan all helping small businesses come back.

More than half of card holders tried out new shops or restaurants

Yiftee and Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism jointly sponsored the survey and were pleased that the extensive card buyer survey, conducted by the Claremont Consulting Group Inc.*, also found that 51% of card buyers tried new shops or restaurants with their Community eGift Cards, and cardholders liked being able to use them at multiple places around town. The bonus program drew attention to the new Whatcom County program, launched in November 2020, with 50% of people saying they would be significantly more likely to purchase a $50 card if they got a $10 bonus.

"Shopping local has always been popular but now it's essential, and Community Cards are a simple way for consumers, companies and local governments to keep their local dollars local," said Donna Novitsky, Yiftee CEO and co-founder. An incredible 92% of card buyers surveyed said they prefer to support their local business with a Community Card vs buying national brand gift cards.

Ann Marie Cooper, Owner of Good Earth Pottery in Bellingham, WA commented, "The gift card program definitely brought extra/new traffic to our shop. Several customers told me so. I know some local folks sent these gift cards to friends and family out of town, to bring their business to us/Whatcom County. The incentive program (bonus spending money) was big motivation for people to purchase the Think Local First Gift Cards... I am very thankful for the program."

About Yiftee, Keep Local Dollars Local

Yiftee serves more than 270 communities and 10,000 local businesses with simple, secure, PoS-independent eGift Cards that keep local dollars local - more than $13M in pandemic year 2020. The company works with Chambers of Commerce, Downtowns, Main Streets, Business Improvement Districts, city governments and other local organizations to create "Community Cards," branded for the community and redeemable at 10s to 100s of local businesses. Organizations and individuals purchase them online and send them via email, text or print to friends, family and co-workers to support their local businesses.

There is no cost to the organizers or merchants for the program and it can be set up in just a few days. Yiftee also provides custom-branded cards for individual merchants, franchises, and chains.

More info at, email:, Twitter: @Yiftee, Facebook:

(Note: * Claremont Consulting Group Inc. study included 197 survey responses for purchases made November 2020-March 2021.)


CAPTION: The Whatcom County, WA Think Local First gift card promotion held in Nov/Dec 2020 multiplied federal government funds with consumer purchases that exclusively support local shops and restaurants in the area as they come back from closures due to COVID.

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government

The City of Pompano Beach Parks and Recreation Department Announces All-Inclusive Playground

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. -- The City of Pompano Beach Parks and Recreation Department has enhanced the Sergeant Kip Jacoby Park with a new all-inclusive playground that features equipment that will encourage side-by-side play for all children. The new pieces by the Kompan Company improve physical, cognitive, creative and social skills for all children, while offering a welcoming atmosphere for children with special needs.

"We recognized the need for an all-abilities park in Pompano Beach and felt that Sergeant Kip Jacoby Park would be an ideal choice," said Mark Beaudreau, Recreations Program Administrator. "This new playground, with its state-of-the-art equipment, will improve the quality of life for families throughout our City and the region and will encourage inclusion and foster new friendships."

During the past few months, the playground has been redesigned to include a custom-built play structure with ramps, special swings and an array of accessible equipment that encourage fun, interaction and learning.

Responsive to children's movements, the TIPI apparatus spins when pushed or pulled. Apart from being a fun negotiation and turn-taking game, the pushing and pulling build muscles and cardio. In the TIPI, children can lie, sit or stand with the support of the side bars or the top frame. This welcomes children with mobility disabilities to be part of the play, too. The spinning movement trains the sense of space and balance. The Robinia Percussion Music Panel is an invitation to play for children featuring a variation in drumming sounds and tonal responses to movements. The drums can be played alone or together. The Xylophone Music Panel trains hand-eye coordination while the tonality of the music panel stimulates logical as well as creative thinking. And the Spinner Bowl allows children to adjust the spinning speed with their body movements. This trains logical thinking and trains the sense of balance, which is mandatory for concentration skills and the ability to sit still. Pushing or being pushed by others trains social-emotional skills such as turn-taking.

"Thank you, City of Pompano Beach! There are so few inclusive playgrounds for children with disabilities," said Myrna Miott, Director of Development and Marketing for the Broward Children's Center. "We are thrilled that our city has taken this proactive and innovative step so that children of all abilities can play together. We look forward to the many friendships and connections that will be made in our community as a result of everyone being able to safely let loose together in this space."

Sergeant Kip Jacoby is named after a longtime Pompano Beach resident who lost his life on June 28, 2005 in Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings. To honor his sacrifice, the City renamed the park, where he loved to skateboard, in his honor. The park is located at 620 S. Cypress Road in Pompano Beach.

The City of Pompano Beach is a vibrant multicultural community located in the heart of Florida's Gold Coast. We are known for our warm welcome and beautiful beaches, listed 9th in the 2021 "Best Beaches in the World" by Travel Addicts Life Magazine. This All-America City is one of the largest beachfront cities in South Florida with a four mile stretch of pristine shoreline, over 700 acres of parks, and a commitment to arts & culture. Key industries include marine, manufacturing, distribution, tourism and entertainment.

For more information visit us at

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Government, Manufacturing

Rural Iowa Manufacturing Jobs Surplus Means Big Opportunities

OSCEOLA, Iowa -- It's been a year since the manufacturing industry was hit by the COVID-19 crisis forcing businesses to get creative to manage their workforce assets. In April of 2020, the rural Clarke County, Iowa's unemployment rate jumped from 3.4% to 11.8%, and more than 100,000 workers across the state were displaced, laid off, or simply let go when businesses had to close their doors, says Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC).

Now COVID restrictions have begun to lift and the economy is picking up again, especially for manufacturers in Osceola, Iowa. Unfortunately, many businesses are still struggling in their search for the right candidates to fill key positions.

"We've got 4,700 non-farm jobs and our major manufacturers continue to grow and add staff," said Bill Trickey, Executive Director of the Clarke County Development Corporation. "Now is a great time to find a job in Clarke County."

Major Clarke County employers have a variety of positions available and are casting a wide net to entice the right candidates to the region. Full of lucrative job opportunities, Osceola boasts easy access from Des Moines, Indianola, Norwalk, St. Mary's, Martensdale and many other South-Central Iowa and Northern Missouri cities via I-35 and highways 34 and 92.

"We're certainly in a position where we have more jobs than people to fill them, so we're recruiting from across the state to find the right fit," said Susan Miller, Human Resources Recruiter for the Altec body plant. "While our pay is more than competitive with most Des Moines metro employers, and our benefits package is outstanding, we've found that it's our unique company culture that really makes working here desirable."

In an effort to fill essential manufacturing positions, companies are finding new incentives to draw in applicants, encourage referrals from current employees, and reward retention among the staff. For example, The Paul Mueller Company, manufacturers of stainless steel, food-grade refrigeration and transportation tanks, offers an incremental referral bonus as well as new employee sign-on bonuses awarded at ninety days, six months, and one year.

Altec body plant helps employees attain Bachelor or Masters degrees in the industry by funding online courses through The University of Alabama and offers wellness benefits to employees and their spouses for completing fun and easy challenges. And Iowa Steel gives their regional sales team the opportunity to work from home or remotely as they travel the country to meet with customers, offering an excellent base salary as well as commission.

"We're in the process of growing, locally and nationwide. On top of filling regional sales positions around the country, we're also adding to our Osceola facility in the fall of 2021 and hiring more skilled labor," said Kate Patton, Human Resources Director at Iowa Steel. "Clarke County is full of employers offering diverse opportunities with competitive pay and an excellent work-life balance. We're just looking for the right applicants."

While unemployment rates are relatively low, there is still a lot of work available in rural Iowa, especially in Clarke County. Employers are finding that top pay and benefits aren't the only tools needed to draw in a workforce.

"Money isn't the most important thing people are looking for these days. People are looking at our culture, and finding a place they enjoy coming to every day, and positioning their family to do more than just make ends meet," said Lauren Robins, Human Resources Generalist II for Paul Mueller Company. "On-site training, and a safe and healthy work environment are all important to prospective employees. Most of all they want to know that they're valued and able to be productive and growing for years to come."

Clarke County's manufacturing industry has advantages not found in bigger cities across the state. Factors like job security, educational incentives, and unique, diverse opportunities for advancement are all part of what draws in a workforce that drives the success of the entire community.

For more information about the availability of jobs mentioned in this press release, feel free to reach to the Human Resources department at each company:

- Altec Osceola Body Plant, HR Recruiter, Susan Miller, 641-223-8807, email:

- Iowa Steel Human Resources Director, Kate Patton, 641-342-2134, email:

- Paul Mueller Company, Lauren Robins, Human Resources Generalist II, 641-342-5521, email:

If you'd like to learn more about the manufacturing industry and development opportunities available in Clarke County, Iowa, please reach out to Bill Trickey, Executive Director of the Clarke County Development Corporation, at 641-414-1884 or email:

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Advertising and Marketing, Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles

Two Yiftee Communities Win Award at the Main Street Now Conference

MENLO PARK, Calif. -- On April 12, 2021, the Main Street Now Conference awarded six U.S. communities with the Main Street Forward Award, Yiftee, Inc. announced today. The award celebrates "forward-thinking Main Street recovery and resilience efforts at this unique and challenging moment" (*note 1). The winners were selected by a national jury of economic development experts. Royal Oak's Downtown Development Authority (DDA) was selected for its two-pronged approach to supporting and stimulating the local economy during the pandemic. Main Street Lincoln Park (LNPK) was chosen for its work to ensure its community had access to food, funding, and essential PPE resources during the COVID-19 crisis.

Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Yiftee

The Royal Oak Downtown area was heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the DDA worked diligently to address the local business crisis. In addition to offering small business assistance grants to downtown businesses, the DDA also boosted economic growth through the Royal Oak Downtown Dollars egift cards, powered by Yiftee. The DDA subsidized consumer spending by sending a free $20 e-gift card to the first 20,000 Royal Oak residents and consumers that signed up for its e-newsletter. The cards are redeemable at more than 65 locations in downtown Royal Oak and can only be used locally.

Downtown Dollars generated more business for local shops, restaurants, and retailers, with some seeing sales increases of 20% year-over-year in July (*note 2). Royal Oak has reported that people from throughout southeastern Michigan began visiting the downtown to redeem their gift cards. "The digital gift card program was part of the most impactful project we have ever implemented. It encouraged customers to spend more money downtown and infused a huge amount of money into local retailers," said Sean Kammer, downtown manager for Royal Oak (*note 3).

The Downtown Dollars program was so successful that it continued into the holiday season, with Royal Oak offering a BOGO match for anyone who purchased the online gift cards. Consumers can still purchase Downtown Dollars gift cards by visiting

Main Street Lincoln Park - Ecolibrium3: Duluth, Minnesota

Main Street Lincoln Park (LNPK) is a wonderful example of a community coming together to get through one of its toughest times. Main Street LNPK collaborated with a local craft brewery to create a free farmer's market to address food insecurity amongst local residents. They also partnered with a local restaurant to provide Spring Break groceries for students in need. Additionally, Main Street LNPK offered small business technical assistance, reopening grants, and other funding opportunities. Main Street LNPK's pandemic response also included "Pay it Forward PPE," a partnership with Duluth outdoor goods manufacturer Frost River, to produce thousands of face masks and face shields with the help of many volunteers working long hours.

Main Street LNPK thanked their volunteers for their hard work with a neighborhood gift card, powered by Yiftee. As the Pay it Forward PPE project gained media and community attention, Main Street LNPK leveraged the exposure to aid local businesses by accelerating the development and launch of the Main Street LNPK gift card (*note 4). "Our neighborhood gift card provided immediate cash infusion into our business community," said Shannon Laing, Main Street LPNK Director, ECOLIBRIUM3 (*note 5). Since the program was introduced, Main Street LNPK has generated nearly $25,000 in gift card purchases-all of which goes to support local businesses (*note 6).

About Yiftee, Keep Local Dollars Local

Yiftee serves more than 265 communities and 10,000 local businesses with simple, secure, PoS-independent eGift Cards that keep local dollars local - more than $13M in pandemic year 2020. The company works with Chambers of Commerce, Downtowns, Main Streets, Business Improvement Districts, city governments and other local organizations to create "Community Cards," branded for the community and redeemable at 10s to 100s of local businesses. Organizations and individuals purchase them online and send them via email, text or print to friends, family and co-workers to support their local businesses. There is no cost to the organizers or merchants for the program and it can be set up in just a few days. Yiftee also provides custom-branded cards for individual merchants, franchises and chains.

More info at or email

Social: @yiftee


(1) Main Street America. (2021, April 15). Announcing the Main Street Forward Awards. From Main Street America:

(2) Main Street America. (2021, April 15). Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority 2021 Main Street Forward Award Winner. Retrieved April 15, 2021 from Main Street America:

(3) Quote taken from video here - Main Street America. (2021, April 15). Royal Oak Downtown Development Authority 2021 Main Street Forward Award Winner. Retrieved April 15, 2021 from Main Street America:

(4) Main Street America. (2021, April 15). Main Street Lincoln Park 2021 Main Street Forward Award Winner. Retrieved April 15, 2021 from Main Street America:

(5) Quote taken from video here - Main Street America. (2021, April 15). Main Street Lincoln Park 2021 Main Street Forward Award Winner. Retrieved April 15, 2021 from Main Street America:

(6) Main Street America. (2021, April 15). Main Street Lincoln Park 2021 Main Street Forward Award Winner. Retrieved April 15, 2021 from Main Street America:

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Product Launches, VAR and IT Consulting

Indiana 5G Zone Launches Exclusive Opportunity to Accelerate 5G Innovations

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Indiana 5G Zone (IN5GZ), a virtual and practical onsite innovation lab, is excited to announce an exclusive opportunity for companies, universities, governments and students to innovate and grow among some of the United States' most promising innovations in various SMART verticals. The acceleration of digital technologies, as the physical and virtual world merge, represents the largest business opportunity to companies of our lifetime. IN5GZ is excited to help spearhead this industrial revolution by offering exclusive membership and sponsorship opportunities to work in the country's leading innovation lab, allowing participants to leverage R&D, real world applications and technical assistance.

Sean Hendrix, executive director of the IN5GZ stated, "In its limited time in operation, the Indiana 5G Zone has already established a track record in helping the private sector develop groundbreaking solutions to existing problems. We look forward to working with others in the private, public and academic sectors to develop additional solutions to pressing problems in the future."

Working alongside the country's preeminent innovators in a coworking space provides participants with front line exposure to fully functional cellular technology facilities, which in turn helps companies take ideas from R&D to real world deployment. Members have exclusive access to a 5G public private-partnership testbed, which includes prototyping & experimentation, testing & evaluation and technical assessments. This combination provides an ideal space to innovate, identify and grow market opportunities. The IN5GZ will assist with 5G projects from start to finish, whether that includes research for academia or creating a product to bring to market.

IN5GZ helps its members in all aspects of their business from ideation to deployment. This includes identifying and securing funding opportunities, teaming with government, industry or academic bodies to advance projects, helping with commercialization & monetization, and scouting for technology opportunities. Membership includes access to in-house experts who can answer questions and provide technical support in the lab.

"5G is called the Fourth Industrial Revolution because it's going to revolutionize multiple industries, including agriculture, energy, manufacturing and transportation. Sponsorship allows businesses and organizations the opportunity to increase visibility and engage with those making significant advancements in this field," remarked Hendrix. Those interested in sponsorship and partnership opportunities can contact the lab directly for additional information.

Membership levels include:
* Industry - $6,000 annually per organization
* Public - $3,500 annually per organization
* Startup - $1,000 annually per organization
* Individual/Student - $600 annually per individual

The Indiana 5G Zone offers the most competitive 5G Lab day rate in the nation.

Test Facility Day Rate - $1,000


In the short time since the lab's opening in 2020, it has demonstrated newsworthy technological advancements that are the first of their kind. Below are some recent and current member and partner projects happening in the lab.

XQ Message

Projects stemming from our partnership with XQ Message, a quantum-safe encryption platform, include cutting edge demos. The IN5GZ and XQ are the first to ever demonstrate packet-based Quantum-resistant Encryption as a Service (QEaaS) over Commercial 5G and a 2-way encrypted video over 5G IoT (Internet of Things) gateway to a MEC (Multi-Access Edge Computing platform). Additionally, XQ developed an IoT video and thermal image capture over 5G with cloud management as the Smart Cities app providing privacy and security to municipalities and their residents. The project also incorporates Mobil Trackr, a temperature monitoring kiosk that is housed in the Lab. Launching soon, a SMART Intersection project will further explore computer vision and machine learning at the edge, creating a plug & play smart traffic solution that could be deployed with no to minimal disruption to traffic. Moreover, as the solution could be easily expanded/redeployed the range of scenarios will improve the business case for such systems.

Performance Defense

Another notable partnership is with Performance Defense, an Arizona-based software and systems engineering firm that is developing a Mission Critical 5G IoT Gateway with embedded cyber security. This device will serve as the connection point between controllers, sensors, and intelligent devices to the cloud. Its ability to access the 5G network allows the benefits of 5G while providing multi-layer security. The Gateway leverages XQ Message technology, adding encryption to provide maximum security. Performance Defense is currently building a prototype that will be ready to test in April 2021.

Advances Renewable Power

Advanced Renewable Power is currently developing a Mobile Power Grid (MPG). The power generation system will use renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, existing grid, hydro (or any combination), or in some cases as a backup traditional generators to charge the energy storage system. This technology can be deployed to remote or underdeveloped areas to provide critical power where it is needed. The MPG will also be capable of network connectivity to relay its data via the Performance Defense IoT gateway over 5G. This will allow for real-time remote monitoring, diagnostics, updating its digital grid software (InfiniGrid), and energy management when deployed to inaccessible locations.

DynamoEdge / Edge

DynamoEdge has been selected by AT&T to develop applications at the MEC. Dynamo Edge is an AIoT Platform for mission critical applications, ingesting, processing and displaying data real time. Creating prescriptive analytics to augment the value of the network. Benchmarked against the most complex mobile device: an IndyCar race car.

About Indiana 5G Zone:

The Indiana 5G Zone is one of many NineTwelve initiatives, advancing the transformation of physical industries by powering smart cities, intelligent logistics and advanced manufacturing. The test-bed is a state-based public-private partnership, the first in the U.S. to enable government, business, and academia to design and commercialize groundbreaking testbed offerings with immediate practical; is a mission critical partner solving the challenges of DevOps; and revolutionizes the speed at which products get to market by de-risking investment and time. For more information visit:

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles, Manufacturing

One Good Job Leads to A World of Great Outcomes – Robotic Process Automation Comes to Clarksdale, Mississippi

CLARKSDALE, Miss. -- "What is the value of one good job?" asks Crossroads Economic Partnership. For Spencer George, it means higher income and better well-being for himself and family. It also means understanding his own higher potential. Just a few years ago, living in Clarksdale, Mississippi, Spencer wouldn't have dreamed he could ever work in the development and distribution of leading-edge technology.

Clarksdale is located in the Mississippi Delta, the poorest region in the poorest state in the nation. Decent jobs have been traditionally hard to come by, and certainly high-tech jobs were once unimaginable for this flat, agricultural region along the Mississippi River.

But at the Robotic Process Automation (RPA) Center of Excellence, opened in 2020 in Clarksdale at the PeopleShores Center, Spencer is not just dreaming, he's living his dream. And now in his new job he's also helping other workers around the globe discover their own higher potential, as RPA automates business processes through software bots, relieving workers of low-level, repetitive tasks and allowing them to engage more meaningfully and creatively in the workplace.

A new day in Clarksdale

Like Spencer, Clarksdale is discovering its potential as a newly vitalized gigabit city. Known as the birthplace of the Blues, Clarksdale now hums with new ideas and excitement, in an era which began with the development of an ecosystem of leadership fostered by the Crossroads Economic Partnership.

"We've come together to make a new day," explains Jon Levingston, Executive Director of the Partnership. "Today we are collaborating at every level, weaving a network of economic, governmental, educational, and social leadership. We are transforming expectations and changing lives for the better."

Learn more:

Expanding manufacturing, breakthrough technology

Results have been immediate and impressive: Since 2018, five new economic development projects have been completed in Clarksdale involving both expansions and startups. Arriving in 2018, PeopleShores is a global leader in impact sourcing. A Silicon Valley-based for-profit social impact enterprise, PeopleShores is committed to helping underserved communities by creating tech-enabled jobs that provide office solutions for multiple sectors, including tech, retail, travel, banking, and insurance. In 2020, Automation Anywhere, a global leader in RPA, joined with PeopleShores to create the Automation Anywhere / PeopleShores Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence for training people in the development of AI software.

"We are strategically located just south of Memphis and the Tennessee border, but we offer that hometown feel," said Clarksdale Mayor Chuck Espy. "After attracting PeopleShores, a Silicon Valley company, we want to capitalize on that momentum. Clarksdale is open for business and we're ready to do the work."

Workforce development has gone well beyond expectations of company management. Custom training in partnership with Coahoma Community College and the Delta Area Workforce Board has prepared PeopleShores associates quickly and strategically, expediting their participation in the Automation Anywhere University certification process.

"Through our partnership with Automation Anywhere and regional leaders, we are training associates to become bot developers in as little as six months," notes Murali Vullaganti, founder of PeopleShores. The company expects to train 200 associates from across the region. "We've taken the plunge; we've come here and we've proven that they can do the work."

In addition to PeopleShores and Automation Anywhere, Clarksdale has attracted Image Industries, a Chicago steel manufacturing business that moved its entire company to the Delta. The company will be hiring at least 50 employees. According to Blake Hobson, co-owner of Image Industries, "One of the biggest things that had to do with it was the people. We have never met more warm, welcoming people in all of our lives and that was a significant deciding factor for us."

Saf-T-Cart - a homegrown industry - is finalizing a $1.5 million expansion at the plant that manufacturers steel carts and welding storage products. The expansion is bringing 25 new jobs.

MAP of Easton Inc. expanded their Clarksdale location in 2018, adding approximately 40 new jobs to the 51 they previously employed. MAP of Easton Inc. manufactures products including automotive, architectural and acousta-art.

"We, obviously, like Clarksdale," said John D'Amico, president of MAP of Easton. "We want to stay in Clarksdale and we want to use the Clarksdale people as much as possible."

Not long ago, a flourishing partnership between Silicon Valley and the Mississippi Delta might have seemed unlikely. But in this new day, as workers like Spencer realize their potential, the value of one good job appears limitless in Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Learn more:


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Jon Levingston, Executive Director
Crossroads Economic Partnership
Phone: 662.902.4968.

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Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles

Nation’s Top 5G Experts come together for Indiana 5G Zone’s First Quarterly Innovation Event

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- The Indiana 5G Zone is hosting its first Quarterly Innovation Event on Wednesday, January 13, 2021, at 1 p.m. EST. This virtual event will consist of several of the nation's top 5G experts discussing the industry and a variety of other 5G-related topics. The event is free and open to the public.

Sean Hendrix, executive director of the Indiana 5G Zone stated, "These quarterly events will focus on different topics surrounding 5G and allow the public and those working in related fields to hear from experts in the area and ask them questions."

The event will consist of three different panels on the following topics:
* 5G Business Opportunities & Funding Sources
* 5G Deployment Challenges & Solutions
* 5G Security: Potential Threats & Strategies To Stay Safe

The event will also include live demos from the Indiana 5G Lab of state-of-the-art Smart City security.

The panelists and discussion items for the virtual event include:

Randy Clark, Vice Chair at National Spectrum Consortium - The Department of Defense's new Spectrum Forward contract will provide up to $2.5 Billion to accelerate innovation in 5G solutions.

Bob Flores, Former CTO of the Central Intelligence Agency - In depth analysis of the recent Solarwinds breach and important lessons that 5G developers should incorporate to protect their business.

Dr. Apurva Mody, Founder of AiRANACULUS - Review of recent breakthroughs in 5G direct digital transceivers that will simplify deployment and speed, and 5G in space.

Rear Admiral (ret.) David Simpson, Former Bureau Chief of the FCC - Importance of secure software development to ensure 5G systems are less vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Walt Magnussen, Director, IITEC at Texas A&M - Overview of new 5G architectures for Public Sector applications.

Gail Nolan- Chief Strategy Officer, Invest Puerto Rico - New business opportunities that 5G creates for Smart City and Smart Manufacturing

Christian González - Founder & CEO, Wovenware, Inc. - New product concepts that combine 5G and Machine Learning

The event is Wednesday, January 13, and begins at 1:00 p.m. EST. More information and registration can be found here:

About Indiana 5G Zone:

5G Zone is a cross-sector demonstration laboratory to help government, industry and academia, design and deliver groundbreaking practical testbed offerings. Learn more:

Kasia Chaberski
VP, Communications & Program Development, NineTwelve
(503) 388-1963

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Advertising and Marketing, Aerospace and Aviation, Business, Economic Development, Free News Articles

Come Live, Work, Grow and Prosper in Amarillo, Texas

AMARILLO, Texas -- Airport officials at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport today unveiled the Airport's new corporate image piece "Taking Flight, Experience Amarillo." The new corporate image piece is the latest in the Airport's on-going aviation and non-aviation business development initiative in conjunction with its community partnership, Taking Flight - Amarillo.

This development campaign is simply an expansion of the intense level of transportation and aviation manufacturing activity already existing in Amarillo, just more focused. The Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport has hundreds of acres of prime real-estate that can serve both aviation and non-aviation business needs. The real estate opportunities at the Airport are supported by very strong and successful private/public partnerships within the City of Amarillo.

Michael Conner, Director of Aviation, commented, "At the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, we take partnerships seriously and realize that positive relationships and creative thinking help to build economic engines that stand the test of time."

Conner went on to say, "Our mission with our enhanced development portfolio of partnership programs is in solidifying Amarillo as a significant location in the supply chain for aviation and other industries as well."

A key customer-focused aspect of the "Taking Flight, Experience Amarillo" initiative is the creation of the Taking Flight, Experience Amarillo Leadership Team. The Leadership Team is comprised of prominent business leaders who are leading experts in their various fields and who have volunteered their time and expertise to assist companies who express interest in Amarillo.

The areas of expertise of the Leadership Team include; economic incentives, financial services - liquidity issues & programs, Amarillo labor force education & counseling, understanding the supply chain distribution in Amarillo and maintenance and repair operations (MRO) currently at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport.

As many business owners are considering moving away from megaplex cities where congestion and overcrowding make it difficult to get around and where taxes are restricting business opportunities, the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport and the City of Amarillo offer an alternative location in the middle of the country...on a major interstate highway...with friendly a State with no income tax...where city and local leaders really care...and assets and resources abound to help make businesses dreams a reality.

Amarillo is a progressive and business-friendly city that is committed to providing a high quality of life for its residents and to providing an environment where businesses can succeed. As a progressive airport in a growing city, the Airport's resources are positioned to help identify business incentives.

Additionally, our Economic Development Corporation has an excellent history of helping businesses of all sizes expand and relocate to Amarillo. The Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport has opportunities available with airfield access as well as on-airport business park access (with or without rail access). The multi-modal capabilities are endless.

For a complete understanding of what makes Amarillo a unique opportunity for business development at the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, click on this link to download an electronic copy of "Taking Flight. Experience Amarillo."

In addition, for a free link to a brief video highlighting the development opportunities or for someone from the Taking Flight, Experience Amarillo business development team to contact interested businesses directly, please e-mail Michael Conner, Director of Aviation at

Learn more about Amarillo:

Michael Conner, Executive Director
Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport
Phone: 1.806.335.1671

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