Growth Spurt 

Investments to bolster city growth in 2017.

A number of projects emerged last week that promise to make strides across the Mid-South next year by way of infrastructure, technology, and innovation.

Lausanne Collegiate School will partner with Xiamen #1 School in China to open a new campus abroad. Located in the Fujian province of China, Xiamen #1 Lausanne International School will be the first school away from the main campus when it opens in August. The school will educate 1,200 students from around the world.

"We're now one of only 19 schools in the nation to adopt an International Baccalaureate program from pre-K to 12th grade," said Noma Anderson, the president of Lausanne's board of trustees, at the Greater Memphis Chamber's annual chairman's lunch last week. "Part of our commitment is bringing global perspectives to Memphis. And also taking perspectives from Memphis around the globe."

click to enlarge ALSAC CEO Shadyac
  • ALSAC CEO Shadyac

At home, the Greater Memphis Alliance for a Competitive Workforce has launched MemphisWorks, a new app aimed at city-wide job growth. The localized app will assist with career navigation, training, career counseling, case management, and hiring.

"It's the most comprehensive system of its kind on the market," said Willie Gregory, chairman of the Alliance board. "Hundreds of people from our community have created videos to tell you what they do and why they love it. Their inspiration unlocks job opportunities and educational pathways."

The Delta Regional Authority also announced it would invest $370,000 into supporting manufacturing in the greater Memphis area. The Authority will expand into the Metro Memphis Export Alliance, an organization focused on driving local exports and attracting manufacturing opportunities to the region, said Chris Masingill, the Authority's federal co-chairman.

"This strategic investment is going to help attract good jobs for our people, new companies to the region, and bring local businesses and entrepreneurs to the global marketplace," Masingill said.

The state of Tennessee will invest $12 million to improve the public infrastructure surrounding St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, growing the hospital's mission and revitalizing the nearby Pinch District.

"We have a state full of people with their hearts in the right place," said Governor Bill Haslam during a news conference at the hospital's campus last Thursday. "I don't know anywhere else like St. Jude that has a constituency so broad-based and committed to this mission."

An additional investment of $25 million by the city of Memphis will develop the nearby Pinch District into a commercial area. The expansion will establish the Pinch as an area where people can "live, work, and play," said Richard Shadyac, the CEO of the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities (ALSAC), St. Jude's fundraising arm. It will also allow St. Jude to further develop in the future.

"All of the city, state, and county money spent here is going to be spent on infrastructure in the Pinch District outside the gates of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital," Shadyac said. "Little — if any — of the money is going to be spent on the St. Jude campus."

The expansion will create 1,800 new jobs. St. Jude is currently in the second year of a six-year strategic plan to bolster the number of patients served as well as grow the hospital globally and at home.

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