With 19.4 million unemployed Americans throughout the country, there is no question that an economic rebound is needed fast.

According to Jill Jones, General Counsel at JTC Americas, and former member of the IIUSA board of directors, EB-5 and Opportunity Zones have a lot in common. Both initiatives are intent on improving the quality of life in distressed communities by driving investment and creating jobs.

The EB-5 program, and the OZ initiative could be key for the economy as it seeks to recover from the economic devastation of the COVID 19 pandemic. According to IIUSA, the nonprofit industry trade association for EB-5 Regional Centers and professionals, the EB-5 Program generated $37 billion in foreign direct investment to create and retain jobs for Americans since 2008, all at no cost to United States taxpayers.

The Opportunity Zones initiative was enacted two years ago to help incent economic development and growth in communities that needed it the most. According to recent studies the initiative has already driven over $75 billion in investment and further growth is expected as a result of increased clarity from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s final regulations and multiple legislative proposals.

“The EB-5 Program and Opportunity Zones initiative would encourage new projects to come to the market and convince leery investors to participate. Such an incentive could actually stimulate job growth in the face of pandemic-related job loss,” said Jones, who spoke more about this topic at the IIUSA panel, “Opportunity Zones & EB-5: Working Together for American Communities,” hosted on Tuesday, Nov. 17th at 9a PT.

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