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2012 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Recognizing Excellence in U.S. State Economic Development and Job Creation
Texas, Tennessee, South Carolina, and Utah are being awarded Gold Shovels. These states' innovative economic development policies attracted new employers in 2011, as well as catalyzing investments in facility and operating expansions by existing local businesses, driving significant in-state job growth.
Area Development Magazine Special Presentation (Summer 2012)
THE GOLD & SILVER SHOVEL WINNERS
Hover over the winning states in the above tabs to see the top 2011 investment projects, creating high value-added jobs in new or expanded facilities, which lead to that state being recognized as a Gold or Silver Shovel winner.

    Landing new investment projects is a tough job for economic development organizations - not only do they need the right combination of site characteristics, they face intense competition from other states for these critical jobs. They must sell, strategize, market, respond, and have better aces up their sleeves than their competition. They must make quick decisions because companies are calling the shots in this weak economic climate and have plenty of other places to go if they turn down their deal or if they offer a weak counterproposal. Even companies that have been in a state for years, and have everything to gain by staying, expect concessions when they are ready to expand. Our annual Shovel Awards recognize 18 states that were highly successful in 2011 in marketing their attributes, building relationships with existing businesses and prospective clients, and customizing incentive packages to land big deals, often worth billions of dollars and thousands of jobs - ultimately strengthening their reputations as good places to do business.


    Gold Shovel
    Awards

    Texas

    Tennessee

    South Carolina
    Utah

    READ MORE »

    Silver Shovel Awards

    POPULATION OF 9+ MILLION

    North Carolina
    Georgia
    Michigan
    Ohio

    READ MORE »
    POPULATION OF 5+ TO 9 MILLION

    Arizona
    Missouri
    Indiana
    Virginia

    READ MORE »
    POPULATION OF 3+ TO 5 MILLION

    Alabama
    Louisiana
    Kentucky

    READ MORE »
    POPULATION OF 3 MILLION OR FEWER

    Kansas
    Mississippi
    Idaho

    READ MORE »

    Projects Of the Year

    TEXAS
    MICHIGAN
    TENNESSEE
    SOUTH CAROLINA
    ALABAMA
    ARIZONA
    UTAH
    GE Transportation
    Gentex Corporation
    GM Spring Hill Manufacturing
    Continental Tire the Americas
    Navistar International
    Intel Corporation
    ITT Corporation
    READ MORE »

    Methodology

    Area Development's annual Gold and Silver Shovel Awards recognize states for their achievements in attracting high-value investment projects that will create a significant number of new jobs in their communities. We collected information from all 50 states about their top-10 job-creation and investment projects initiated in 2011 (only those projects that actually had monies invested, "broke ground," began an expansion, started new hiring, etc. were considered). Based on a combination of weighted factors - including the number of new jobs to be created in relation to the state's population, the combined dollar amount of the investments, the number of new facilities, the diversity of industry represented - four states achieving the highest weighted overall scores are awarded Area Development's 2012 Gold Shovels in four population categories: 9+ million, 5+ to 9 million, 3+ to 5 million, and fewer than 3 million. Runners up in each of these population categories are awarded 2012 Silver Shovels.


 
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