Weekly Update: The American Dream

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While our nation is far from perfect, I was reminded recently of what makes it special and so unique to the rest of the world. America (Memphis in particular) is a place ripe with opportunity, and with hard work, anything is possible.

On Wednesday, I had the chance to attend and speak at the groundbreaking for RDX, LLC, a local trucking company. The two founders are originally from Bulgaria and moved to the United States to start a better life for them and their families. When they arrived, they knew nothing about the trucking business, but they each saved up, bought a truck and spent the next four years driving and learning the business.

Fast-forward to the event Wednesday—they’re breaking ground on a brand-new $8.7 million, 11,516-square-foot facility on 41 acres after outgrowing their old space. They are moving 20 jobs from their old facility that average $56,000 a year and adding 15 new people that average $44,000 per year for a total of 35 office jobs. In addition to the 35 employees, RDX employs over 90 drivers.


Now, I’ll be the first to say—I always enjoy a groundbreaking for new or expanding business in Memphis.

But, this one was special. To be able to hear these two gentlemen, two immigrants, tell their story was inspiring and uplifting. They both left a world they knew and risked everything to come chase the American Dream.

Well folks—if you ever doubted that it was still a real thing, Rouman Denkov, Dee Tchoparov, and the company they started, RDX, LLC, are living proof. And, they’re hiring.

To top it all off—what better to live out their American Dream than to have their new headquarters located on American Way.


Rouman and Dee, congratulations, and thanks for choosing Memphis.

In addition to RDX, there are thousands of available jobs in Memphis. If you or someone you know is looking for work, you can find it here.

Billions in investment: As you may have seen earlier this week, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital announced an $11.5 billion investment in research, people and capital projects as outlined in its six-year growth plan.

Some items listed in its plan:

  • $1.9 billion in new construction, renovation and capital needs
  • 1,400 new jobs
  • more than $250 million to expand state-of-the-art technology and resources
  • 3.7 billion to expand cancer-focused research and related clinical care
  • more than $470 million in global initiatives
  • $1.1 billion in expanded research and treatment programs to advance cures for childhood catastrophic diseases

For the full strategic plan, you can see it here.

An investment in the future: In 2019 (while pre-pandemic) we had made significant progress in the fight against poverty. It’s still a battle that far too many Memphians struggle to overcome.

There are many groups working to address this issue across our community, and one of them received validation this week that what they’re doing is working. The Soulsville Charter School announced earlier this week an investment of $110,000 from Slingshot Memphis’ Impact Accelerator Fund, which helps organizations in Memphis amplify their poverty-fighting impact.

Congrats to Soulsville Charter School on this recognition, and thanks for what you’re doing to help lift Memphians out of poverty.

To learn more about the great things happening at the school, you can go here.

Rent and Utility Assistance: The Emergency Rental & Utility Assistance Program, a new program aimed at helping renters in Shelby County, will help thousands of households that are behind on rent and utilities or facing eviction as a result of COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Treasury has granted a total of $28.2 million to the City of Memphis and Shelby County (including 19.6 million to the City and 8.6 to the County) to administer the Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) program.

The program can pay up to 12 months of owed rent and utilities to those affected by COVID-19. Those facing eviction can also receive free legal assistance. The program is open to Shelby County renters and is being administered by the City of Memphis and Shelby County Government.

For more information, go to www.home901.org/covid-resources/, or email HELP@home901.org. You can also call 211, or text HOME901 TO 21000 (or text CASA901 to 21000 for Spanish). The program will reopen applications tomorrow, May 1, 2021 and will close for that month on May 14, 2021 at midnight. Applications will reopen each month.

I hope you have a great weekend.


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