Dallas Federal Reserve visits Lubbock to hear financial woes affecting community

Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas was in Lubbock to hear the challenges families and service providers in our area face. The listening session was in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech Wednesday afternoon.

Dallas Fed president Lorie Logan moderated the discussion, listening to families and community leaders talk about the challenges they face when it comes to building a strong economy.

Her senior vice president, Alfreda Norman, says Logan is one of 12 policy makers that come to the table to influence monetary policy, along with the board of governors.

“The Federal Reserve, we’re pretty much known for our work around monetary policy, right? People wait for the Federal Open Market Committee to make the decisions. But along with that, we do other things, which is also, we’re concerned about the financial stability of our financial institutions. But we’re also interested in hearing about what’s happening in our communities,” Norman said.

The Reserve heard from Lubbock leaders working with families through all stages of life, like in workforce development. Christy Colley with South Plains Community Action says childcare availability is a big challenge for parents in the workforce.

“We’ve been speaking with a lot of our childcare providers, and a lot of them have had to close childcare rooms because they don’t have enough staff,” Colley said.

The founder of EL ROBI, or East Lubbock Resident-Owned Business Initiative, which is a six-week apprenticeship program, was on the small business development panel. When it comes to connecting students to trades, Reggie Dial says there’s a lack of education.

“Knowing what’s out there, knowing what’s available. Some people in the community, they just don’t know. They have no idea that these opportunities are available for them,” Dial said.

The final panel was on affordable housing. A panelist from the Community Development department with the City of Lubbock talked about issues like the supply chain and finding partnerships for construction.

Gloria Mendoza, with the Lubbock Housing Finance Corporation, says there’s a shortage of affordable housing in Lubbock. She says many homeowners bought when interest rates were low, so they don’t want to upgrade, leaving fewer affordable homes on the market.

Norman says what Logan heard at the discussion matters when it comes to her input on changing monetary policies.

“This does factor into many of the things that she’s saying. And we feel like it’s really important for us to represent the folks in our district the best that we can,” Norman said.

Norman says working together to solve the problem is key, and she sees a lot of that here in Lubbock.