Success Story
April 4, 2024

Multiple EDA Grants Transform Base Closure into Economic Opportunity in West Texas

The place-based investment is core to EDA’s mission, with our team working closely with local community leaders to ensure EDA’s grants support targeted economic development based on each community’s unique needs. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach, which allows EDA’s grants to be flexible, dynamic, and meet the moment that’s called for in each community. In Lubbock, Texas, that has translated into multiple EDA investments, as leaders turn a painful Air Force Base closure into economic opportunity for the region.

When Reese Air Force Base closed in 1997, local, state, and federal leaders quickly stepped in to mitigate the damage by redeveloping the base and finding ways to replace the lost jobs. EDA is proud to be a trusted partner in this work with the Lubbock community.

WATCH: See the EDA investments in Reese Technology Center 

Over the course 23 years, EDA has made four separate investments to the Reese Technology Center (RTC), run by the Lubbock Reese Redevelopment Authority (LRRA). These investments have spurred $5 million in private investment, retained hundreds of jobs and created hundreds more. The EDA investments have also led to RTC partnering with local educational institutions to offer workforce development programs that equip job seekers with the skills and connections they need.

Building Broadband

Photo of Reese Data Center sign
A 2001 EDA investment supported construction of a dual loop fiber ring on campus.

Initially, LRRA began leasing building space to local businesses but the lack of quality internet access made doing business difficult. A 2001 EDA Public Works investment provided $1 million to support construction of a dual loop fiber ring on campus, bringing high-speed broadband access to the technology center. The improvement attracted large businesses who could use these state-of-the-art tools to grow their businesses. Subsequent investments by Reese have resulted in an ultramodern data center which provides colocation and disaster recovery services and is the only facility of its kind in West Texas. 

Expanding Industries

Photo of Reese Technology Center Gate 2
A 2013 EDA investment provided infrastructure to support industrial and manufacturing companies at RTC.

As Reese Technology Center continued to grow, officials saw the opportunity to expand its industrial and manufacturing industries but lacked the infrastructure to support large customers. Once again, officials turned to EDA for support. In 2013, EDA provided a $1.225 million Public Works grant to fund construction of highway improvements and deceleration lanes for easier and safer access to the RTC. The investment led to retaining several large manufacturing customers and attracted new trucking, logistics, freight, and industrial companies. The improvements also allowed South Plains College to offer a truck driving school, supporting workforce development in the region.

Attracting Aerospace

Photo of a runway
An EDA investment in 2021 supported critical security and runway enhancements to attract aerospace companies.

One major asset that RTC inherited from the Air Force was the aircraft runways. However, for years, RTC was unable to maintain the runways due to lack of funds. Leaders wanted to attract the rapidly growing aerospace industry and in 2021 was awarded a $865,000 EDA Public Works investment to support critical security and runway enhancements at RTC. This investment has allowed RTC to sign leases with two aerospace companies and host a public/private research initiative through the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.  This initiative seeks to commercialize the use of drones for infrastructure inspection, agricultural monitoring, and rural healthcare delivery—all of which are in high demand in Texas.

Looking to the Future 

In its most recent investment in RTC, EDA just announced a $2 million Disaster Supplemental investment to support business growth in a new business park at the facility. Officials say RTC is almost at full capacity, and new facilities will allow existing businesses to expand, creating jobs and new economic opportunity for the region.

Officials say the latest EDA investment will continue the build on the economic growth seen through RTC and will be an economic catalyst for the region. 


  • Infrastructure
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Manufacturing
  • Workforce Development