Federal Officials Host Economic Development Events at North Carolina A&T


EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 10, 2019) – A trio of senior federal officials teamed up with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University to host a breakfast meeting for about 60 government and community leaders from around the state Friday for a discussion of opportunity zones and economic development in East Greensboro.

event participants discussing topics of interest

U.S. Rep. Mark Walker hosted the event at N.C. A&T’s new award-winning Student Center in the Deese Ballroom. Featured guests included U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and White House Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy Ja’Ron Smith, both leaders in development and implementation of opportunity zones in low-income census tracts around the country.

Federal law allows individuals and businesses that develop qualified property in the zones to defer capital gain taxes for investments used in that development. If the investment is held for 10 years or more, all capital gains on the investment are waived.

N.C. A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., who has made East Greensboro’s economic climate a top priority, welcomed the group with a discussion of the university’s leadership in bringing investment and development to this part of town. N.C. A&T construction projects either in process or recently completed include the current construction of the $90-million Engineering Research and Innovation Center, the 150,000-square-foot Student Center and a new residence hall about to take shape on the west side of campus.

Those projects and others are illustrative of a growing university that is creating a stronger climate for new businesses, job creation and additional development in East Greensboro, he said.

After introductory remarks from Walker, Scott and Smith discussed the fine points of opportunity zones and how different kinds of businesses, organizations and individuals can leverage their benefits while creating economic vitality in low-income areas.

Dialogue with audience members included questions from Greensboro developer and University of North Carolina Board of Governors member Marty Kotis, state Sen. Gladys Robinson and community leaders from across the state. Scott assigned members of his staff to follow up with several questioners with additional information, while he and Smith both pointed to a range of free federal government tools that can help navigate opportunity zone regulations and processes.

After the breakfast event, attendees were transported to Gateway Research Park, which N.C. A&T and UNC Greensboro jointly oversee, to tour Core Technology Molding Corp. Owned and managed by N.C. A&T alumnus Geoff Foster with his wife, Tonya Foster, the company is a global leader in precision molding, with a long and growing client list that includes such major interests as Rubbermaid, Husqvarna, BMW Manufacturing, Altria, Merck and more.