Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.8 million grant to the city of Abilene, Texas, to make roadway infrastructure improvements needed to support expansion efforts of manufacturers and businesses in the Five Points Business Park area. The EDA grant, to be located near a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with nearly $800,000 in local funds and is expected to create nearly 90 jobs, retain nearly 30 jobs, and generate $12.7 million in private investment.
“Manufacturing is the heartbeat of many American communities, and the Trump Administration is committed to helping them obtain the necessary modern infrastructure to encourage manufacturing growth,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will provide Abilene with an expanded roadway infrastructure to drive future business development in the Five Points Business Park and develop high-quality jobs in the local manufacturing industry. The nearby Opportunity Zone will further attract investment to diversify and grow the region’s economy.”
“This Economic Development Administration investment will support roadway improvements in Abilene that will meet truck access needs for new and expanding businesses in the Five Points Business Park,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will promote Abilene manufacturing growth and provide new high-skill and high-wage jobs. 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 Abilene a high priority.”
This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the West Central Texas Council of Governments (WCTCOG), 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.