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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 Special Presentation (Jun/Jul 06)
(page 4 of 4)
Silver Shovel Winners
Over 10 Million Population

"In this ultra-competitive, global economy, companies have more choices than ever when it comes to where they want to do business," points out Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. "[Awards] such as these reaffirm that the business community and leading corporate executives are well aware of all Illinois has to offer and, in increasingly large numbers, are deciding to call our state home. Through collaboration and innovation, we'll continue to distinguish Illinois as a world-class place to do business."

For example, The Chrysler Group is investing $419 million in a major retooling effort of its Belvidere automotive plant that has added 1,000 new jobs and a third shift. Last year a second shift added 1,000 new jobs to the regional economy. The company indicated its highly skilled work force was key to the decision to expand at this location.

Iowa-based Pella Corporation built a new $29.9 million, 275,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Macomb in 2005. It allows the window and door maker to expand its manufacturing operations and bring 480 new jobs to the area.

And Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc. is expanding and improving its North American headquarters operations in Deerfield, bringing 500 new jobs to town. The $46 million project - part of an emerging biotech corridor in northeast Illinois - consists of a 1.2 million-square-foot campus and a 5,300-square-foot remote delivery facility.

"Companies continue to choose Michigan for major new facilities and expansions, and we appreciate those investments being recognized through the Silver Shovel award," says Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm. "Our efforts to help companies grow and create jobs in the state are paying off, and we expect that success to continue in 2006."

Last November, Robert Bosch Corporation broke ground on its new $37.5 million, 225,000-square-foot Plymouth Township Technical Center. The global automotive supplier's facility will initially employ 475 workers, and eventually house 2,400 employees. "Michigan continues to provide an ideal location for Bosch's operations, offering a close proximity to customers and an atmosphere that fosters growth for the future," says Bosch Chairman, President, and CEO Kurt Liedtke.

Haworth, one of the world's top office furniture manufacturers, is investing $42.7 million to consolidate its operations from four states to existing facilities in Holland, Allegan, and Big Rapids. The project, which will ultimately create more than 1,000 company jobs, includes a major reconstruction of its Holland world headquarters. "In the global tug of war for manufacturing jobs, this is a huge win for Michigan," says Don Jakeway, president and CEO of Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). "The right combination of state and local incentives helped us make a good business case for one of the world's most innovative office furniture companies to expand here in Michigan, rather than elsewhere."

Additionally, Quicken Loans Inc. is investing $29.1 million to expand its Michigan operations in Troy, a move resulting in 1,200 new jobs. MEDC convinced Quicken, the nation's largest online mortgage lender, to locate in Michigan rather than Nevada by offering the firm a Single Business Tax Credit worth more than $29.6 million over four years.

"No state has been more successful than Texas in making good jobs available to its work force," Governor Rick Perry says. "Our success at job creation is powerful evidence that Texas is on the right track to a prosperous future. We have made wise decisions by keeping taxes low, investing in an educated work force, limiting lawsuit abuse, and aggressively pursuing jobs. Our coordinated strategy to educate out-of-state employers about Texas' excellent business climate is working. And it is proof that our unprecedented investments in job-creation tools are paying real dividends for the people of this state."

In 2005 Washington Mutual selected San Antonio as the home for its new $80 million regional operations center, expected to ultimately employ up to 4,200 people. According to Washington Mutual's Chief Administrative Officer Benson Porter, the city was selected because of its business-friendly environment, strong work force, great quality of life, affordable housing, central location, "and a viable real estate solution to accommodate our growth."

And Tyson Foods is bringing 1,600 jobs to Texas as part of a deal that includes at least $13 million in incentives. With a $100 million capital investment in the Texas economy, Tyson has established its largest case-ready meat-packing plant in the nation in Sherman, located 60 miles north of Dallas. The facility will package more than six million pounds of beef and pork each week. Tyson's Chairman and CEO John Tyson says that the state's "strong business climate" put Texas in the running for the project and the $7 million received from the Texas Enterprise Fund "closed the deal."

Material for this special report was gathered and prepared with the help of Lisa A. Bastian, CBC.
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