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VOL. 133 | NO. 179 | Monday, September 10, 2018

Daily Digest

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Memphis Colleges Among Highest Average Salary for Grads in Tennessee

Memphis colleges are among the top 10 in the state with the highest average salary for graduates.

The ranking comes from SmartAsset, a New York-based financial technology company.

Christian Brothers University was No. 3 on the list, with an average starting salary for graduates of $48,800. Rhodes College was No. 5, with an average starting salary for graduates of $47,900. The University of Memphis was No. 8, with an average starting salary for graduates of $45,300.

No. 1 in the state was Vanderbilt University, with an average starting salary for graduates of $61,100.

SmartAsset looked at five factors to determine the best-value colleges and universities: tuition, student living costs (including room and board, books, supplies, transportation and other personal expenses), scholarship and grant offerings, retention rate and starting salary.

Its data sources included 2016 National Center for Educational Statistics, 2017 Payscale, The Institute for College Access & Success, College InSight and Peterson's Undergraduate Financial Aid and Undergraduate databases.

The entire ranking can be found here

- Special to the Daily News

AutoZone Among Most Reputable Retailers in America

Memphis-based AutoZone Inc. is one of the most reputable retailers in America, according to a new study.

Reputation Institute’s 2018 US Retail RepTrak, the largest corporate reputation study of its kind, bases its findings on almost 10,000 individual ratings from the U.S. general public and is based on an assessment of 88 nominated companies.

AutoZone ranked No. 4. The top company was Barnes & Noble, followed by Amazon and Cabela’s. Rounding out the top five was Costco.

The study measures things like the public’s willingness to purchase a company’s products, recommend the brand, invest in or work for the company.

“What you sell and stand for matters,” William Shifflett, vice president of Reputation Institute, said in a release. “Delivering on products, governance and citizenship is a priority for retail companies when creating a strong reputation foundation.”

The rankings and full report are available here

- Special to the Daily News

Tennessee Walmart Associates Receive $5.19M in Bonuses

On Thursday, Sept. 5, Walmart associates in Tennessee received more than $5.19 million in Q2 bonuses, the company announced.

There are about 41,000 Walmart associates in Tennessee. As of Aug. 15, Walmart reported an average wage of $13.92 for full-time hourly associates in its Tennessee discount stores, supercenters and neighborhood markets.

More than 915,000 hourly U.S. Walmart associates received a share of more than $200 million in cash bonuses, based on their store’s performance. The bonuses were included in their Sept. 6 paychecks.

The quarterly bonuses are part of an overall incentive plan the company designed to reward associates whose stores achieve sales and customer service goals.

In Q2, Walmart achieved its best performance in more than 10 years, with comp sales growth (excluding fuel) of 4.5 percent, in addition to an increase of customer traffic of more than 2 percent.

In January, the company announced plans to increase the starting wage for all hourly associates in the U.S. to at least $11, expand maternity- and parental-leave benefits and provide a one-time cash bonus for eligible associates of up to $1,000.

Walmart also recently announced a commitment to train and develop one million associates over the next five years and introduced a new education benefit, which includes free college credit for on-the-job training and options for associates to earn a college degree without incurring student loan debt.

- Special to the Daily News

Key Biologics, Blood Centers of America Partner to Advance Cell Medicines

Memphis-based Key Biologics LLC and the nation’s largest blood supply network have announced an agreement to formalize their existing business relationship and work collectively to broaden support for cell therapy and regenerative medicine.

Blood Centers of America (BCA) and Key Biologics will focus on removing barriers to the supply of critical raw materials needed for pre-clinical research and for clinical manufacturing of cell-based therapies.

“Working with BCA and their extensive network, we believe we can speed patients’ access to important new therapies formulated from allogeneic and autologous raw materials that can be used to effectively treat conditions such as cancer, immune-based disorders, and inherited genetic disorders,” Dr. Edward Scott, founder of Key Biologics, said in a statement. “The ability to access BCA’s unique database of well-characterized individuals who have explicitly expressed an interest in providing blood products to support research and product development will enhance our efforts significantly.”

Key Biologics recently merged with Seattle-based Astarte Biologics, adding highly complementary immunology expertise that will play a role in expanding the combined company’s cell characterization, custom cell line and assay development capabilities. Adding Astarte’s product and service line will allow BCA members and their customers to gain access to highly characterized cells and qualified cell lines. Along with the merger, Key Biologics also received a growth equity investment from Ampersand Capital Partners to continue expanding the company in the rapidly evolving cell and gene therapy markets.

- Special to the Daily News

PROPERTY SALES 93 424 6,970
MORTGAGES 42 281 4,410
BUILDING PERMITS 196 704 16,619
BANKRUPTCIES 38 174 3,570