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VOL. 133 | NO. 165 | Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Daily Digest

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New Program Provides Hub Workers LiFE Opportunity

FedEx hub workers in Memphis can get a University of Memphis degree tuition free through a new online program called Learning inspired by FedEx (LiFE).

Tuition assistance has long been a hallmark of FedEx benefits and a much-touted incentive for working in the hub, but the LiFE program takes it up a notch.

The hub, the center of FedEx Express’ global air express network, employs about 11,000 people, many of them part-timers working there as a second job.

The LiFE program is available to hub employees starting their first day on the job.

It includes a component to help workers earn high school equivalency credentials while also building up credits toward college degrees.

It launches as FedEx gears up for a more than $1 billion expansion of the hub, which is slated to be modernized and expanded between 2019 and 2025.

The new incentive also should be a plus for FedEx’s efforts to recruit workers. FedEx recruits for the hub year-round, but steps up efforts approaching the holiday peak season, when it’s competing with distribution centers and warehouses for thousands of workers to handle a spike in package volume.

The LiFE program is offered through the university’s online arm -- U of M Global. Features include a comprehensive readiness assessment tool, academic coaching and 24/7 tutoring,

LiFE Prep Academy for high school course work and computer and Internet access at a FedEx-funded Hub Learning Center.

Employees may participate as long as they work at the hub and remain in good academic standing.

“FedEx is a vital supporter of the University of Memphis, and we are so excited about the new LiFE initiative,” university President M. David Rudd said in a release.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity that will open the door for thousands of FedEx Express employees to pursue a degree through U of M Global, reaffirming our mission of removing barriers to post-secondary education and providing a quality education for all,” Rudd said.

Barbara Wallander, senior vice president of human resources for FedEx Express, said, “FedEx Express is excited to be working with the University of Memphis to offer our team members at the Memphis World Hub the opportunity to earn a tuition-free degree.

Information is available online at: http://www.memphis.edu/uofmglobal/life/index.php

- Special to the Daily News

Memphis Gets Votes In AP Preseason Poll

The University of Memphis received three votes in the Associated Press preseason poll released on Monday, Aug. 20. Mississippi State was ranked 18th in the poll.

The Tigers are coming off a 10-3 season and won the West Division of the American Athletic Conference. They lost to UCF in the AAC title game and then to Iowa State in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl.

UCF, which went undefeated last season, was the only AAC team to crack the Top 25 at No. 21. Boise State was the only other non-Power 5 program be ranked, coming in at No. 22.

Alabama was No. 1 with Clemson, Georgia, Wisconsin and Ohio State rounding out the top five. Auburn was ranked ninth and LSU 25th. South Carolina and Florida received the 26th and 27th-most votes, respectively. Arkansas State received a single vote in the preseason poll.

- Don Wade

IP to Begin $8 Million Renovation at Memphis HQ

International Paper Co. is renovating Tower I at its headquarters in East Memphis primarily to accommodate a new business unit it acquired two years ago from Weyerhaeuser.

The company applied for a construction permit and estimates the work at 6400 Poplar Ave. will cost $8 million.

HBG Design architecture firm has designed the renovation and Grinder Taber & Grinder will be the general contractor.

“Basically, it’s to accommodate Global Cellulose Fibers,’’ International Paper spokesman Tom Ryan said Monday, Aug. 20, referring to the new businesses acquired from Weyerhaeuser. “And just our commitment to providing a very nice operation for folks to work.’’

The building has not been modernized since it was built in 1987, Ryan said.

International Paper bought Weyerhaeuser’s pulp business for about $2.2 billion in 2016.

The deal included the acquisition of five pulp mills and two converting facilities tha

It makes fluff pulp, softwood pulp and specialty pulp products. Consumer uses include diapers and other hygiene products, tissue and textiles.

The former Weyerhaeuser business employed 1,900 people worldwide.

- Special to the Daily News

Touchdown Club Announces Some 2018 Speakers

The 43rd season of the Touchdown Club of Memphis will have speakers that include new Mississippi State head football coach Joe Moorhead, new University of Memphis head basketball coach Penny Hardaway, and former Ole Miss head football coach Hugh Freeze.

The season will kick-off Monday, Aug. 27, with Tony Barnhart, “Mr. College Football.” Each meeting will also include the presentation of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl/Touchdown Club of Memphis prep player of the week award.

All meetings will be held at the Hilton Memphis Hotel, 939 Ridge Lake Blvd., and begin at 5:30 p.m. with a cash bar cocktail hour, followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m. and program at 7 p.m.

In addition to Barnhart, the 2018 season at the Touchdown Club of Memphis will include the following: Sept. 10, Freeze, former Ole Miss head coach; Sept. 17, Hardaway, University of Memphis head basketball coach; Oct. 1, David Johnson, Tennessee wide receivers coach; Oct.8, Moorhead, Mississippi State head coach; Oct. 22, Phil Longo, Ole Miss offensive coordinator; and Dec. 6, AutoZone Liberty Bowl head coaches of teams from the SEC and Big 12).

Additional meetings and speakers will be announced later. Membership dues are $300 if paid by check, $310 if paid online at www.tdcmemphis.com. Dues checks may be mailed to: Touchdown Club of Memphis P O Box 770711 Memphis, TN 38177-0711

- Don Wade

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