Texas Tech University

Texas Tech, Regional Leaders Partner to Host Historic Opportunity Zone Summit

Glenys Young

February 25, 2019

The event will focus on the regional coordination of Opportunity Zones.

WHAT: The West Texas Opportunity Zone Economic Summit


WHEN: 2-5:30 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 28)

WHERE:Jerry S. Rawls College of Business, room 112A

EVENT: Executive Order 13853, signed by President Donald Trump on Dec. 12, 2018, established "qualified opportunity zones" to encourage public and private investment in urban and economically distressed areas. Accordingly, West Texas communities are now coming together to sign an economic cooperation agreement. It is the first such endeavor for these communities, and it represents the nation's first grass-roots regional effort to coordinate policies relating to Opportunity Zones.

In attendance at the summit will be the elected officials, mayors and county judges of all regional communities that received opportunity zone allocations as well as the presidents and CEOs of local banks, heads of Chambers of Commerce and regional property developers. A representative from Gov. Greg Abbott's Office of Economic Development will facilitate a discussion with elected officials on possible state incentives to support the fair use of Opportunity Zones, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas will participate.

The event will include a presentation on Opportunity Zones by two faculty members in the Area of Finance, Jared P. Harrell, an assistant professor of practice, and Stephen Buschbom, an assistant professor. Three breakout sessions also will be offered:
• Discussion on possible state incentives for Opportunity Zones
• Discussion on regional investment prospectus framework
• The role of banking in encouraging Opportunity Zone investment and exploring the creation of a multi-bank Community Development Finance Institution

The summit will conclude with a signing ceremony and reception.

To attend, contact Nicholas Bergfeld at nicholas.bergfeld@ttu.edu.