Uber Groundbreaking: Five Local Nonprofits Were Chosen for Uber’s New Community Impact Initiative

At Uber's planned hub at The Epic in Deep Ellum, the rideshare company announced its 12-city Community Impact initiative. With the launch, grants will be given to the Human Rights initiative of North Texas, the Jubilee Park & Community Center, Empowering the Masses, Paul Quinn College, and The Family Place.

On the heels of the announcement that Uber was planning on establishing a major hub in Deep Ellum, the rideshare giant is continuing its commitment to Dallas.

At a groundbreaking ceremony for the U.S. General and Administrative Hub that will go in The Epic, Uber announced it was launching the Community Impact initiative across 12 metropolitan areas, including Dallas. In attendance was Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Governor Greg Abbott, Mayor Eric Johnson, Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins.

[Photo: Courtesy Uber]

At the construction kick-off, Khosrowshahi said the new initiative will provide essentially free trips and financial support to local nonprofits. This ensures that the “lack of a ride” isn’t a factor for missing a doctor’s appointment or job interview.

73 Community Impact initiative grants will be given across the designated cities, which includes New York, Chicago, Seattle, Toronto, and Vancouver. In Dallas, Khosrowshahi said Uber chose five nonprofits that had a positive impact on the community: the Human Rights initiative of North Texas, the Jubilee Park & Community Center, Empowering the Masses, Paul Quinn College, and The Family Place.

“We want to be a part of the communities in the cities that we live in. We want to be real partners and we want to have a presence in the cities that we live in,” Khosrowshahi said. “And that leads us to want to do more than just bring jobs. It leads us to want to participate in the communities in which we serve.”

The jobs Khosrowshahi is referring to are the 3,000 corporate positions expected to accompany the upcoming Dallas offices. The hub—the second largest outside of Uber’s San Francisco headquarters—is also predicted to bring more than $75 million in capital investment with it. Khosrowshahi called the move a “very, very big investment” for the company.

“The state of Texas has always been an exceptional partner for Uber as we continue to expand and innovate our transportation options all around the world,” he said. “Texas has been a first class partner for us, and that partnership, with our announcement of this great headquarters and office, is only going to grow.”

Uber and Dallas have a storied past. In 2012, Dallas became the first city in Texas where the app was available. Now, Uber’s myriad offerings are all available throughout the region—ridesharing, Eats (fun fact: Khosrowshahi said Texas leads in the percentage of brisket orders for Uber Eats), Jump scooters, Transit, Freight, and Elevate.

Uber is also readying to unleash its self-driving vehicles onto the roads to start mapping the streets of Dallas for future deployment.

[Photo: Courtesy Uber]

“We have innovated in Texas first. This has been a place that is is wanting to innovate, willing to take risks,” Khosrowshahi said. “As you’re building new technologies, taking risks is something you have to do, and Texas has always been a place that has welcomed that kind of innovation for us.”

Khosrowshahi calls Uber a technology company that’s different from competitors because it sits at the border of digital and physical. A car, food, and nearly anything you might want is basically at your fingertips.

And soon, we might even be able to add flying cars to the mix—Uber Elevate, the company’s air mobility arm, plans to have air taxis transporting riders through commercial flight operations in Dallas, L.A., and Melbourne, Australia by 2023.

Dallas-based Hillwood, an early Uber Elevate partner, earlier this year announced its plans to create a Mobility Innovation Zone at its AllianceTexas development. That was earlier predicted to be a place for developing, testing, and refining Uber’s advanced mobility technologies.

“Innovating and building technology for the physical world is difficult, it’s demanding.” Khosrowshahi said. “But we thought that we had a great partnership with Texas and Dallas and we could find the kinds of people who are up for building that kind of innovation.”

Uber released new renderings of its planned hub in The Epic. [Rendering: Courtesy Uber]

Since launching, and later expanding beyond ridesharing, Texas has consistently been a “hub of innovation for Uber,” Khosrowshahi said. He feels the spirit of building is strong, which was a driving factor in choosing a location for Uber’s new hub.

“The decision to be in Dallas was driven because of the partnership that we’ve had for many, many years with the state of Texas, but also because of the depth of the Texas labor market and the kind of talent we’re looking to recruit,” he said. “We’re looking for people who are here who want to work hard, who want to innovate, want to compete and build. “

Uber plans to hire or relocate around 400 employees to Dallas by the end of this year, mostly in finance, human resources, and sales. Temporarily, the company will move into a coworking space—followed by the two stage, two-year move into The Epic.

“We’re hiring, and we’re hiring fast,” Khosrowshahi said. “So if anyone’s interested, just apply to Uber.”

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