U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $2.75 Million to Strengthen Cybersecurity Industry in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Opportunity Zone

April 27, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C.- Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $2.75 million grant to the Regents of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, Colorado, to expand and renovate the University of Colorado cybersecurity building. The EDA grant, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $2.75 million in local funds and is expected to create 360 jobs and attract more than $9.3 million in private investment.

“President Trump is working every day to empower our nation’s entrepreneurs so they can grow, thrive, and create jobs for Americans,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross. “This project will provide the University of Colorado with the necessary modernized space to support the growth of new cybersecurity businesses in an Opportunity Zone.”

“Making sure communities have the tools they need for economic and business success is a top priority for EDA,” said Dana Gartzke, Performing the Delegated Duties of the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development. “This project will allow the University of Colorado to make upgrades to its cybersecurity center to allow new companies in the cybersecurity industry to grow and diversify the Colorado Springs economy. The project’s location in an Opportunity Zone will attract additional businesses in an area of the state that needs it most.”

“As a fifth-generation Coloradan who grew up in a rural town out on the Eastern Plains, I know how important it is to attract growth to local communities,” said Senator Cory Gardner. “The Opportunity Zone program continues to bring new investments and jobs to Colorado communities, and I’m pleased to see this funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce awarded to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Especially with the economic challenged posed by the coronavirus, it’s important that Opportunity Zone investments continue, and we should look for ways to accelerate the deployment of Opportunity Zone capital in every corner of Colorado.”

“This grant to expand and renovate the University of Colorado cybersecurity building is critical for boosting the industry and innovation in our region,” said Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05). “We thank the Department of Commerce and Secretary Ross for creating this opportunity zone, which, in return, has strengthened our community and made it a better place to live and work.”

The funding announced today goes to one of Colorado’s 126 Opportunity Zones. 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 page here.