Right now UTPB is making a big investment that it hopes will pay dividends for the community later down the road.

It’s upgrading both of its campuses in Odessa and Midland to help students create their own start-up companies and become successful in the business world.

The Odessa Campus’ Dunagan Library is getting a major renovation. The first floor will be transformed into a multi-use location for students to get trained up on entrepreneurial ideas. It’ll have performance stages for business pitching, 3-D printing, and the Blackstone Launchpad, an organization that provides resources for students interested in entrepreneurship.

“It’s a really good opportunity,” says UTPB student Monika Cantu. “It’ll help you not just short term, but long term.”

Upgrades are also happening soon at the Center for Energy and Economic Diversification in Midland.

“We’re going to putting in an incubator-maker space,” says Dr. Steve Beach, Dean of UTPB’s College of Business. “We have Texas Water Institute, advanced manufacturing center, workforce development.”

There will also be an expansion of the Business Entrepreneurship minor and expansion of the Entrepreneurship Certificate within the College of Business.

Dr. Beach says West Texas is ripe with great minds to build start-ups, but he says younger people are not necessarily taking advantage of the opportunities.

“We’re seeing that younger folks are not as inclined to take those risks as older generations have been,” says Beach. “To take their meter earnings and to dedicate to their ideas, and say they’re going to take that chance.”

Programs like the ones at UTPB will hopefully cultivate more risk-takers and great business minds. All of the resources part of the transformation will be available for every student, regardless of major.

Transformations will start this fall and will be complete by 2022. More announcements and dates for completion are soon to come.

For more on the changes, check out the attached video.