Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.5 million grant to the city of Levelland, Texas, to make rail, road, and water infrastructure improvements needed to support expansion efforts of manufacturers and businesses in the Levelland Industrial Rail Park. The EDA grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs ActOpportunity Zone, will be matched with more than $1.5 million in local funds and is expected to create 25 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment.
“Manufacturing is the heartbeat of many American communities, and the Trump Administration is committed to helping them obtain the modern infrastructure they need to encourage growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will provide Levelland with the necessary infrastructure to drive future business and manufacturing industry development in the Industrial Rail Park, and the nearby Opportunity Zone will attract investment to further diversify the region’s economy.”
“EDA is pleased to support Levelland’s strategy to spur additional development at the Levelland Industrial Rail Park,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will promote Levelland’s manufacturing growth, enabling local businesses to expand their supply chains to include advanced manufacturing of innovative, high-value products, and the project’s location near an Opportunity Zone will drive additional investment into the region.”
“While Texans persevere as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on our state, we must take steps to ensure that our communities are equipped to weather the storm,” said Senator John Cornyn. “I applaud this announcement and will continue to do everything I can to make economic growth in Levelland a high priority.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the South Plains Association of Governments (SPAG), which EDA funds to bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment, and create jobs.
The funding announced today will catalyze private investment in a nearby Opportunity Zone. Created by President Donald J. Trump’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Opportunity Zones are spurring economic development in economically-distressed communities nationwide. In June 2019, EDA added Opportunity Zones as an Investment Priority, which increases the number of catalytic Opportunity Zone-related projects that EDA can fund to fuel greater public investment in these areas. To learn more about the Commerce Department’s work in Opportunity Zones, please visit EDA’s Opportunity Zones webpage. To learn more about the Opportunity Zone program, see the Opportunity Now resources webpage. To learn more about Opportunity Zone best practices, see the recently released White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council Report (PDF) to President Trump.
About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA makes investments in economically distressed communities in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.