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Business Digest: Seton gets workforce development grant


Seton gets workforce development grant

The Seton Healthcare Family on Tuesday announced it will receive a $730,000 grant from JP Morgan Chase to fund new workforce development efforts.

The grant, earmarked primarily for initiatives at the Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, will help train workers for “high demand health-care careers specific to our community,” said Seton CEO Jesús Garza in a release.

In the release, the companies said the program would help align health care jobs with community members seeking better employment opportunities.

“This is such an important opportunity to create good jobs in Austin,” said Joe Holt, managing director at JPMorgan Chase, noting that he effort would “create meaningful careers that will help close the opportunity gap in our city.”


Uber diversity report: low numbers of women

Uber’s first report on employee diversity shows low numbers for women, especially in technical positions. In that regard, the company is similar to other Silicon Valley giants such as Google, Facebook and Apple.

But Uber’s report comes as pressure mounts on the company in light of sexual harassment claims by a former employee, the antics of its embattled CEO Travis Kalanick and ongoing criticisms of a boorish “brogrammer” culture. Management defections include that of the company’s president, Jeff Jones, after just six months on the job.

Thirty-six percent of the company’s worldwide employees are women, according to the report , which does not count drivers as employees. Google, in comparison, has 31 percent women and Apple, 32 percent. When it comes to technology jobs such as engineering, only 15 percent are women at Uber. At Google, it’s 19 percent and Apple, 23 percent.

Uber says the new hires at the company show a higher percentage of women — 41 percent — as well as more underrepresented minorities. In the U.S., the largest ethnic group at Uber is white and the second largest is Asian. The report also shows that nearly 9 percent of the company’s U.S. employees are black and almost 6 percent are Hispanic.


Amazon tests grocery pickup service in Seattle

Amazon is testing a grocery pickup service in Seattle.

The AmazonFresh Pickup service is currently open only to Amazon employees. Eventually, members of Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime loyalty program will be able to order groceries online and drive to a pickup location, where crews will deliver items to the car.

Amazon says orders will be ready in as little as 15 minutes after being placed. The service is being tested in two locations in Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered.

The service is the latest way Amazon is testing new ways to shop. At an Amazon Go convenience store in Seattle, items selected are automatically monitored and added to a virtual cart so shoppers can skip the checkout. That store is also open only to Amazon employees so far.

Amazon already has a grocery delivery service in some cities.


Crash renews self-driving car debate in Arizona

PHOENIX — A crash that caused an Uber self-driving SUV to flip onto its side in a Phoenix suburb serves as a stark reminder of the challenges surrounding autonomous vehicles in Arizona, a state that has gone all-in to entice the company by promising minimal government regulation.

The crash was blamed on the driver of an oncoming SUV that turned left in front of the Uber vehicle carrying two test drivers and no passengers. There were no serious injuries and the driver of the other car was cited for a moving violation. But images of Uber’s Volvo SUV rolled onto its side reverberated heavily on social media.

Uber responded by briefly suspending its self-driving cars in its three testing locations — Arizona, San Francisco and Pittsburgh — as it investigated the accident.

Uber’s self-driving car program is rolling out amid questions about how much government regulation it should face.

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