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2013 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: California, Florida and Pennsylvania Awarded Silver Shovels - States with Populations over 10 Million

California, Florida and Pennsylvania are recognized with Silver Shovel awards for economic development and job creation excellence.

Area Development Magazine Special Presentation (Q2 / Spring 2013)

CaliforniaSilver Shovel winner California has had remarkable success in growing high-wage jobs in recent years, which has propelled its economic output at a rate faster than the nation’s as a whole for the past two decades, according to a report published by the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank. In 2011, the most recent calendar-year results available, the state’s gross domestic product was up by 2 percent, beating the national growth rate by a third. Analysts expect even greater things for the future. For example, the Anderson Forecast expects nonfarm jobs to grow by 1.4 percent this year, 2.1 percent next year, and 2.3 percent in 2015. And economists note that technological developments are likely to fuel growth well into the future in this tech-heavy state.

Analysts at the University of California Los Angeles say the future is bright. Though it’s currently slow going for the national economic expansion, they believe that once things pick up nationally, California will gain a disproportionate share of the good news. They expect exports to be a source of ongoing prosperity, noting that they’ve been growing throughout the recovery.

It should come as no surprise that IT and e-commerce are leading the way for California. One of this year’s Projects of the Year is a California standout — the $300 million Silicon Valley research and development center planned by Samsung in San Jose. Also delivering good news in California is Amazon, which announced fulfillment centers in Patterson and San Bernardino that together represent an investment of about $250 million and the creation of nearly 1,100 jobs. Analysts expect the mail-order giant to build a few more California distribution facilities in the not too distant future.

Meanwhile, San Diego — one of the nation’s largest biotech hubs — continues to achieve success. Advanced BioHealing is establishing an office and manufacturing facility in San Diego worth about $100 million and 300 jobs — the regenerative medicine company is working on living cell-based therapies.

Projects of the Year : California

Population: 37.2 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Samsung San Jose Semiconductors E 2,000 $300 million Semiconductor R&D*
2. Advanced Call Center Technologies Sacramento N 2,000 $25 million Call Center
3. Amazon San Bernardino N 700 $100 million Fulfillment Center
4. Amazon Patterson N 385 $150 million Fulfillment Center
5. Sutter Health Roseville N 1,000 $30 million Administrative Service Center
6. Castle Rock Water Co. Dunsmuir E 25 $1 million Bottling Plant
7. Advanced BioHealing San Diego E 300 $100 million Regenerative Medicine
8. Caterpillar Kern Cty. N 150 $25 million Distribution Center
9. Belcampo Meat Co. Yreka N 30 $4 million Food Processing
10. Quick Mount PA Walnut Creek E 65 $7.5 million Solar Mounting Eqpt.

Florida In Florida, growth continued through the latter part of 2012 even as it slowed on a national level. The housing market is on the rebound, and economists at the Florida Chamber of Commerce predict that 2013 will bring 170,000 new nonfarm jobs to the Sunshine State. The University of Central Florida’s latest forecasts expect the state’s GDP to accelerate dramatically — from 1.8 percent this year to 3.3 percent next year to 4.1 percent in 2015. The Florida jobless rate this spring dropped below the national average for the first time since 2008, and the University of Central Florida expects the rate to continue dropping for at least the next three years.

Among the success stories behind Florida’s recognition this year is a $274 million investment by broadcaster Univision worth 346 jobs in Doral. Corporate headquarters investments on the list include $100 million pledged by Harris Corp. in Melbourne and $83.7 million from BI-LO in Jacksonville, where the grocer moved its headquarters as part of a merger with Winn-Dixie.

Pratt & Whitney is expanding in West Palm Beach with a $63.7 million investment and 230 new jobs. “This expansion involves Pratt & Whitney’s most advanced commercial and military engines and builds upon the great work already being done here,” said United Technologies Corp. Chairman and CEO Louis Chênevert.

Projects of the Year : Florida

Population: 19 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Univision Network Doral N 346 $274 million TV Broadcasting
2. Harris Corp. Melbourne E 100 $100 million Corporate Hdqtrs./Engineering
3. BI-LO Jacksonville E 100 $83.7 million Corporate Hdqtrs.
4. Pratt & Whitney West Palm Beach N 230 $63.7 million Aircraft & Parts
5. Arthrex Ave Maria N 600 $50 million Medical Devices
6. Air Products and Chemicals Port Manatee N 250 $53.6 million Chemical Process Eqpt.
7. Digital Risk Boca Raton, Maitland, Jacksonville E 1,000 $3 million Business/Office Services
8. L-3 Aerospace Crestview Crestview E 340 $13.7 million Helicopters
9. Navy Federal Credit Union Pensacola E 700 $6.8 million Business/Office Services
10. Medtronic Jacksonville E 175 $14 million Hdqtrs./Medical Devices

The signs of a strengthening economy are everywhere. There are certainly plenty of people still looking for work, but Michigan has come a long way from the days when its unemployment rate was the highest in the nation at 14.2 percent. Michigan engineers commanding six-figure salaries are finding that they can land a job in a week or less. The state’s GDP grew by 4.9 percent in 2010 and 2.3 percent in 2011, in both cases higher than the national figures. And by 2012, the professional hockey team in Detroit was selling more tickets than it had in years.

“Michigan has been experiencing its best economic performance since 2000, both on an absolute basis and when measured in comparison to the national average,” economic journalist David Sowerby wrote in Crain’s Detroit Business recently. “Encouragingly, the economic performance of Michigan over the last three years, and our prospects for continued growth in 2013, has a stronger foundation than any time in the last 15 years.”

North Carolina Like most other states, North Carolina is pulling out of the downturn bit by bit, and is making the kind of solid gains needed to land on the Silver Shovels list. A recent report from the North Carolina Justice Center’s Budget & Tax Center found that the state’s business climate is in fine shape, with some of the region’s fastest economic growth. The fact that its jobless rate is higher than many would like to see is a reflection of its manufacturing heritage and that many companies in the manufacturing sector took big hits during the economic downturn.

Projects of the Year : North Carolina

Population: 9.7 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Aramark Healthcare Mecklenburg Cnty. E 80 $150 million Life Sciences
2. Ashley Furniture Davie Cnty. N 550 $80 million Furniture
3. AT&T Cleveland Cnty. N 19 $851 million Data Center
4. Denver Global Lincoln Cnty. N 450 $30.6 million Machinery/Eqpt.
5. Herbalife Forsyth N 493 $130 million Nutritional Products
6. Polo Ralph Lauren Guilford E 500 $142 million Inventory Mgmt./R&D
7. Sierra Nevada Brewery Henderson Cnty. N 95 $107.5 million Food/Beverages
8. MSC Industrial Direct Mecklenburg Cnty. N 400 $31.3 million Headquarters
9. Red Hat Wake Cnty. E 540 $109 million ICT
10. Sentinel NC One Durham Cnty. N 19 $180 million Data Center

Pennsylvania At the top of Pennsylvania’s Silver Shovel success list is a $350 million investment by Delta Airlines subsidiary Monroe Energy in its petroleum refining operation in Trainer. Monroe acquired the idled facility about a year ago in order to land a more affordable supply of jet fuel for Delta, and it invested heavily in infrastructure to maximize jet fuel production, which began in the fall. And the energy story in Pennsylvania is still just taking shape, as economists expect to see many positive headlines in the coming years tied to development of the Marcellus Shale.

The state’s food and beverage sector also has been enjoying growth, with a $110 million investment by Ocean Spray Cranberries in Breinigsville and a $100 million Bimbo Bakeries investment in the same community. Meanwhile, Ahold USA/ Vantage Foods chose to pump $63 million into a Cumberland County meat-processing and packaging operation that will create 850 jobs.

Projects of the Year : Pennsylvania

Population: 12.7 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Monroe Energy LLC Trainer E 400 $350 million Petroleum Refining
2. Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc. Breinigsville N 165 $110 million Beverages
3. PetSmart Bethel N 545 $87.1 million Warehouse/Distribution
4. Ahold USA/Vantage Foods Camp Hill N 850 $63 million Food Processing

5. Volvo Construction Equipment Shippensburg N 300 $100 million Construction Eqpt.
6. Bimbo Bakeries Breinigsville N 95 $100 million Food Processing
7. Dollar General Bethel N 500 $90 million Warehouse/Distribution
8. Aquion Energy, Inc. Mt. Pleasant N 341 $70 million Batteries
9. Mylan Canonsburg N 200 $60 million Pharmaceuticals
10. Westport Axle & Stamping Breinigsville N 518 $5.2 million Axle Forging

2013 Gold Shovel Awards: The Winning States

  • Texas
  • Georgia
  • Alabama
  • Kansas
Read More

2013 Gold Shovel Awards: Projects of the Year

Project Location Jobs Investment
Apple, Inc. Austin, TX 3,635 $304M
Samsung Semiconductors San Jose, CA 2,000 $300M
Baxter Internationa Atlanta, GA 1,800 $1B
Nissan North America Smyrna/Decherd, TN 2,200 $325M
GE Consumer & Industrial Louisville, KY 1,214 $649.8M
Xactware Solutions Inc. Orem, UT 859 $130M
Read More

MethodologyArea 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 2012 (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 2013 Gold Shovels in four population categories: 10+ million, 5+ to 10 million, 3+ to 5 million, and fewer than 3 million. Runners up in each of these population categories are awarded 2013 Silver Shovels.

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