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Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit

BLACK ENTERPRISE brings you all the resources you need for entrepreneurship, small business, money, and careers. Join us for our 3-day Entrepreneurs Summit returning to Charlotte, NC June 6 – 9, 2018 where more than 1,000 CEOs, investors, and business experts will gather to share knowledge and make business deals. Find the inspiration and make the connections you need to scale your business to greater levels of success at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit.

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EY to add nearly 400 jobs, create wavespace innovation center in Charlotte

EY is planning to create 375 jobs and invest $8.2 million in Charlotte over the next five years through an expansion and creation of a new innovation center.

The London-based business-services organization, also known as Ernst & Young LLP, will develop one of its EY wavespace centers in Mecklenburg County as part of the expansion, Gov. Roy Cooper’s office announced on Tuesday. The Charlotte location will be among the firm’s global network of growth and innovation centers, which are described as “bringing together multi-disciplinary teams to focus on disruptive growth, improvement strategies and technologies.”

EY, which provides assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services, launched its wavespace centers about a year ago. At that time, the company announced new locations in Amsterdam; Atlanta; Mexico City; New York; Santa Monica, Calif.; São Paulo; Trivandrum, India; and Toronto.

“North Carolina is a powerhouse for financial and professional services because of the ambitious, talented people who live and work here and the educational and training resources at their fingertips,” Cooper said in a prepared statement. “The EY wavespace innovation center in Charlotte will create even more opportunities for North Carolinians to develop new ideas and creative solutions.”

The Charlotte center “will help clients face the challenges and opportunities of continuous change, digitization and disruption in their industries, with a focus on specific industry disruptors that impact clients’ growth strategies in financial services and energy,” according to the news release from Cooper’s office. The wavespace locations feature a shared methodology and platform that takes advantage of EY’s “deep industry domain” and regulatory experience with its “experience in disruptive technologies.”

The project will add local jobs in positions like forensic investigation, dispute data analytics, digital development, data analytics and robotics. Salaries, while varying by position, will have a minimum average of $74,926. That’s nearly $10,000 higher than the Mecklenburg County’s average wage of $65,285.

This is an exciting time for EY and the state of North Carolina. We are seeing new and diverse skills bringing creative ideas and innovation to business leaders across the state. It’s our hope that EY wavespace will build on this momentum, providing a physical location where innovative talents come together to collaborate and navigate this transformative age,” said Malcomb Coley, EY’s Charlotte office managing partner and Carolinas market leader, in a statement.

The accounting giant currently has an office in Charlotte at 100 N. Tryon St. in uptown as well as locations in Raleigh and Winston-Salem.

A spokeswoman for the N.C. Department of Commerce said EY’s new project will be at its existing uptown office as well as at 1422 S. Tryon St. in South End. The latter location is the site of Beacon Partners’ 3.5-acre RailYard development, which will include 300,000 square feet of creative office space and 30,000 square feet of retail space. When asked about the EY project, a broker at Beacon told the Charlotte Business Journal that a lease is “not signed and not close,” and that terms are being discussed.

EY’s expansion is aided by a Job Development Investment Grant that was approved by the state on Tuesday. EY could receive more than $3.2 million from the performance-based grant. The project is expected to grow North Carolina’s economy by about $596 million during the 12-year term of the grant.

And EY’s decision to expand in Mecklenburg County — holding a Tier 3 economic designation — would move up to $1.07 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund — Utility Account, which is designed to help rural communities finance infrastructure upgrades to attract future business.

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Google commits $150 million to diversity

Google is taking a uniquely Google-esque approach to increasing the diversity of its workforce.

The Mountain View, Calif., tech giant is trying to get more women and minorities into technology with an ambitious, $150 million plan. Google told CNNMoney half that money will go to outside organizations and communities, while the other half will be used internally to make Google more inclusive.

 In a blog post this week, VP of People Operations Nancy Lee laid out the company’s strategy for 2015. It follows earlier public efforts by Google (GOOG) to increase diversity, including sending Google engineers to historically black universities and and working with Disney (DIS) to improve depictions of girls in computer science. In 2014, the company put $114 million toward diversity programs.

The company is also expanding where it looks for fresh talent by recruiting at a wider variety of colleges.

The lack of diversity in tech goes deeper than just the HR department. As was highlighted in the Ellen Pao gender discrimination trial, company culture is also key to keeping and encouraging a diverse workforce. Google is offering more internal training and workshops on unconscious bias, and employees can use part of their time to work on diversity initiatives.

It’s also looking at the root of the problem, expanding computer science education for kids and pushing to get under-served communities online.

The company still has a lot of work to do. According to the diversity report it released last year, only 17% of its tech workers are female, 1% of its tech workforce is black and 2% are Hispanic. In the blog post, Lee said Google plans to release 2015 diversity numbers soon.

In March, Google executive Eric Schmidt was called out during a panel on diversity at SXSW for repeatedly interrupting Megan Smith, the chief technology officer of the U.S. and a former Googler. The audience member who pointed it out was Judith Williams, the manager of Google’s global diversity and talent programs.

It’s not the only company putting money into diversity. Apple (AAPL, Tech30) has donated $50 million to organizations that will help more minorities and women get into tech. Intel (INTC, Tech30) is sinking $300 million into a program that expands STEM eduction to more diverse students.