WESTBURY, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Area Development, the leading publication covering site selection and facility planning, recognizes 20 states with its Gold & Silver Shovel awards. Six states in five population categories — Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Arizona, Alabama, and Mississippi — are being awarded Gold Shovels in recognition of projects undertaken in 2018 creating a significant number of high-value-added jobs as well as large capital investments. Silver Shovels are being awarded to 14 other states.
Our Annual Shovel awards recognize state and local economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, and other processes that attract new employers as well as investments in expanded facilities. The Gold and Silver Shovel awards are presented annually to the states that have achieved the most success in terms of new job creation and company investment.
Each of the 50 states was invited by Area Development to submit information about its top-10 job creation and investment projects. Only those projects that began to materialize in 2018 were considered. The Shovel Awards are given to the states with the highest weighted scores based on the number of high-valued added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities, and industry diversity.
States are compared only to others in their population tier. This year, Silver Shovels are being awarded to Florida, Illinois, New York (12+ million); Michigan, North Carolina (8+ to 12 million); Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee (5+ to 8 million); Kentucky, Nevada, Utah (3+ to 5 million population); and Kansas, Nebraska, Rhode Island (3 million or fewer population).
While e-commerce was creating thousands of jobs nationwide in 2018, diverse projects in the manufacturing, IT, financial services, energy, and other sectors were also making news. There are nine projects cited in which investment numbers are a billion dollars or more. And five projects are distinguished as “Projects of the Year” for their job creation and investment numbers: Regeneron (NY), Nikola (AZ), Micron Technology (VA), Mazda/Toyota (AL), and Electric Boat (RI).
A report on the 2019 Shovel Award winners is published in the Q2/2019 issue of Area Development and posted online at www.areadevelopment.com/shovels.
Area Development is published quarterly and also maintains several highly visited websites, which can be reached through www.areadevelopment.com.