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2006 Gold Shovel Awards

Both domestic and foreign firms are continuing to invest in the United States, creating jobs and bolstering the economies of the states recognized by Area Development's premiere Gold and Silver Shovel awards.

Area Development Magazine Special Presentation (Jun/Jul 06)
(page 3 of 4)
Silver Shovel Winners
3 to 10 Million Population
Arizona

"This award exemplifies the team spirit in Arizona's economic development arena," says Arizona Department of Commerce Director Gilbert Jimenez. "The state's fundamental infrastructure strengths, quality work force, and the commitment of state, local, educational, and economic leaders are aligned to offer companies incredible advantage."

Intel's new $3 billion "Fab 32" factory for producing microprocessors using the 45-nanometer manufacturing process is under construction in Chandler. The facility will create 1,000 jobs. Recently the state revamped its income tax formula for multistate corporations, decreasing the amount of sales revenue included in the tax calculation. According to Intel, this legislation was a big factor in choosing Arizona.

Pella Corporation, a leading door and window manufacturer, has opened a new $300 million manufacturing plant in Tucson that will ultimately create almost 450 new jobs. "Pella Corporation appreciates the diverse opportunities which abound in the state, the progressive focus on business, and the professionalism and pride that are part of the culture in the Arizona work force," says Mark Hinkie, President and COO of Pella's Vinyl Window and Door Division.

And, Republic Plastics located to San Manuel in July 2005, making an $8.5 million capital investment in this rural community. The firm employs about 120 and recently announced expansion plans. "Arizona is a natural place for our West Coast plant because it provides a strong base from which to do business and gives us access to our major new and growing markets," says Republic Plastics President and CEO Gino Inman.

Tennessee
"We're honored to be recognized for our economic development efforts by Area Development magazine with the Silver Shovel award," says Matthew Kisber, commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. In Tennessee, we enjoy a vibrant, low-cost business environment, a skilled work force, and great quality of life. Our strong infrastructure support and a host of quality educational institutions and research facilities make our state a competitive contender for job creation and expansion opportunities. With initiatives like FastTrack, and an emphasis on workers' compensation reform, work force development, and community development, we are continuing to get noticed. This award is yet another validation of the strength of Tennessee's business environment, and our ability to execute job-growth strategies that are creative and innovative."

For example, T-Mobile USA, Inc. is investing $16 million to build a new state-of-the-art, 77,000-square-foot customer service center providing the latest in telecommunications tools and customer-service technology. With 700 workers, it's the second customer service center T-Mobile operates in the state (the other is in Nashville). T-Mobile's Vice President of Government Affairs Tom Sugre says the service-oriented culture and residents in Tennessee are a "perfect match with T-Mobile's values."

And Nissan North America is moving its corporate headquarters and 1,300 jobs to Franklin. "We made a strategic decision to relocate our corporate headquarters here because of the long-term benefits associated with overall investment and operational costs," says Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn of the $70 million investment. "By bringing key functions closer together, we also aim to create synergies, nurture creativity, and enhance our performance in the North American auto industry."

Another international company, Japan-based DENSO, is expanding its Maryville manufacturing facilities at a cost of $185 million. The project is adding 220,000 square feet to a 1.5 million-square-foot manufacturing space and some 500 employees. DENSO President Hattori says the expansion is "truly a tribute" to the quality of the company's Tennessee work force, adding that the Maryville operations "help us maintain [a] focus on innovation and creativity."


Virginia
"As the state's chief jobs officer, I'm pleased that Virginia is a recipient of the Silver Shovel award," says Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine. "We are committed to providing a competitive, pro-business environment that attracts quality jobs to Virginia - and keeps them here."

For instance, Philip Morris USA is building a $300 million, 450,000-square-foot research and technology center in Richmond's BioTechnology Park that will create 500 new jobs. John Nelson, Philip Morris USA's president of Operations and Technology, says innovation has helped his company remain a leader.

ITT Industries Night Vision is investing up to $51.8 million to expand its facility capacity in Roanoke, creating 250 new jobs. Increased production is due to increased global demand for the firm's night vision products. Larry Curfiss, vice president and director of business development, says the "attentiveness and support" from Virginia and Roanoke County "make growth as a business easier. Because of our county and state partnership and talented work force, we are able to help protect those who protect us."

And Wolseley, the world's largest specialist trade distributor of plumbing and heating products, is building its $32.2 million, 220,000-square-foot North American headquarters facility in Newport News that will employ 420. "This centralized location enables our leaders to accelerate our vision of providing our customers with the most comprehensive offering of products and services available in the building industry," says Chip Hornsby, former CEO of Wolseley North America. The firm is a recipient of performance-based incentives that the state awards exceptional economic development projects with large numbers of employees and very high wages relative to average wages for that particular area.
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