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2018 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Georgia, Michigan, Ohio and Virginia Awarded Silver Shovels - States with Populations 8 to 12 Million

Q2 2018

Georgia — 8+ to 12 Million Population Category E-commerce is delivering prosperity to Silver Shovel winner Georgia. Online fashion and beauty retailer ASOS picked Union City for a 1,600-job fulfillment center, while Amazon added to its list of distribution centers in Georgia, adding 1,000 jobs. Meanwhile, Luxottica Group’s eyewear distribution center also announced a 1,000-job expansion plan.

2017 Top Projects: Georgia

Population: 10.43 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. ASOS Union City N 1,620 $42 million E-Commerce Fulfillment
2. Luxottica Group NA McDonough E 1,000 $78 million Eyewear
3. Pratt and Whitney Columbus E 510 $386 million Aircraft Engines
4. Accenture Atlanta N 888 $2 million Shared Services
5. Switch Lithia Springs N 65 $1 billion Data Center
6. Irving Consumer Products Ltd. Macon N 211 $400 million Consumer Paper Products
7. Amazon Jefferson N 1,000 N/A E-Commerce Fulfillment
8. Computer Generated Solutions Inc.Norcross E 850 $1.3 million Call Center
9. OneTrust Atlanta N 500 $20 million Software Development
10. Nestle-PurinaHartwell N 240 $320 million Pet Foods

Business and consumer services are part of the good news, too. Computer Generated Solutions said it would create about 850 call center jobs in a Norcross expansion. Switch unveiled a data center plan in the Atlanta area with a few dozen jobs but a $1 billion price tag. Accenture’s investment in Atlanta is much smaller from a dollar perspective, but will yield nearly 900 jobs. Manufacturing announcements include aircraft engine building at Pratt and Whitney, expanding in Columbus, plus the manufacture of pet foods and paper products elsewhere.

Ohio — 8+ to 12 Million Population Category Silver Shovel winner Ohio’s 2017 projects represent diverse economic sectors — from manufacturing to distribution to technology to financial services. Topping the list was a 2,000-job Amazon fulfillment center in North Randall, rising from the site of a closed shopping mall. Hundreds more jobs were promised in the financial services sector. Huntington National Bank’s growth in its hometown of Columbus brought a pledge of nearly 400 jobs, plus 900 new insurance jobs at a Highland Heights project planned by Progressive Casualty Insurance Co.

2017 Top Projects: Ohio*

Population: 11.66 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Amazon North Randall N 2,000 $100 million E-Commerce Fulfillment
2. Facebook New Albany N 100 $750 million Data Center
3. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co. Highland Heights E 900 $30 million Financial Services
4. Pro-Tec Coating Co., Inc. Leipsic E 80 $410 million Steel Processing
5. Ensemble HP, LLC Blue Ash E 1,100 $34 million Biohealth
6. Nestle USA, Inc. Solon N 320 $16.8 million Food Sciences
7. Silfex, Inc. Springfield N 400 $214.4 million Silicon Components
8. IronUnits LLC Toledo N 130 $567 million Iron Processing
9. The Huntington National Bank Columbus N 386 $11.6 million Financial Services
10. Pratt Paper, LLC Wapakoneta N 300 $270 million Paperboard
*Represents a state/local sponsor

Also adding to Ohio’s Silver Shovel year was the announcement that Ensemble Health Partners would hire as many as 1,100 at a facility in Blue Ash involved in helping healthcare providers collect patient service revenue. Tech manufacturer Silfex added plans for a Springfield development, while Nestle USA announced that as part of a headquarters move from California to Virginia, it would also move about 300 technical, supply chain, and production jobs to its Ohio operation in Solon. Other growth came in such industries as paperboard, iron and steel, plus 100 jobs at a $750 million Facebook data center in New Albany, near Columbus.

Virginia — 8+ to 12 Million Population Category Headquarters moves and expansions helped Virginia earn its Silver Shovel. Changes in the food industry led Nestle USA to announce plans for a headquarters move from the West Coast to Arlington County, Va., closer to the bulk of its U.S. factories and customers. Favor TechConsulting moved to larger quarters in Fairfax County and in the process made room to add up to 1,200 new jobs over the next five years. Plumbing wholesaler Ferguson is expanding its Newport News headquarters, and similar plans were announced in Virginia Beach by LifeNet Health, involved in organ procurement and tissue processing.

2017 Top Projects: Virginia

Population: 8.40 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Navy Federal Credit Union Frederick Cty. E 1,400 $100 million Financial Services
2. Favor TechConsulting, LLC Fairfax Cty.E 1,200 $1.7 million Headquarters
3. Nestlé USA, Inc. Arlington Cty. N 748 $39.8 million Headquarters
4. Ferguson* Newport News E 434 $82.8 million Headquarters
5. LifeNet Health* Virginia Beach E 321 $12.3 million Headquarters
6. Owens & Minor Richmond N 300 $15 million Healthcare Client Services
7. Phoenix Packaging Operations, LLC Pulaski Cty. E 145 $48.7 million Packaging
8. Facebook Henrico Cty. N 100 $1 billion Data Center
9. Google, Inc. Loudoun Cty. N 50 $250 million Data Center
10. Altec Industries* Botetourt Cty. E 180 $30.2 million Aerial Trucks
*Represents a state/local sponsor

From a jobs perspective, the biggest news came from Frederick County, where Navy Federal Credit Union announced it would grow its operations center and add approximately 1,400 new jobs. Two of the world’s biggest tech companies, Facebook and Google, both chose Virginia for new data centers. Virginia-based healthcare services company Owens & Minor shared plans for a new customer engagement center in Richmond, and Altec Industries — which makes aerial lift trucks for the utility and telecom industries — will add 180 jobs in an expansion in Botetourt County.

2018 Gold Shovel Awards: The Winning States

  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • Wisconsin
  • Kentucky
  • Nevada
Read More

2018 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Billion Dollar(s) Projects Of The Year (2017)

Project Location Jobs Investment
Switch Lithia Springs, GA 65 jobs $1 billion
Apple Inc. Waukee, IA50 jobs $1.3 billion
Amazon Hebron, KY2,700 jobs $1.5 billion
Toyota Motor Manufacturing KY Georgetown, KY1,209 jobs $1.3 billion
Lotte Chemical Louisiana Calcasieu Parish, LA130 jobs $1.13 billion
Wanhua Chemical Group T/B/D, LA170 jobs $1.12 billion
Ford Motor Co. Flat Rock, MI 700 jobs $1.2 billion
Invenergy LLC, GE, American Electric Power Texas County, OK0 jobs $4.5 billion
Denso Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc. Maryville, TN1,000 jobs $1 billion
ExxonMobil - SABIC Portland, TX 600 jobs $10 billion
Facebook Henrico County, VA100 jobs $1 billion
Foxconn Mount Pleasant, WI13,000 jobs $10 billion

2018 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Large Job-Creating Projects Of The Year (2017)

Project Location Jobs Investment
Chewy, Inc. Goodyear, AZ1,200 jobs $30 million
Bank of the West Tempe, AZ1,000 jobs$25 million
Concentrix Tempe, AZ 1,538 jobs $14.5 million
General Motors San Francisco, CA 1,163 jobs $14 million
Amazon North Haven, CT1,800 jobs $255 million
Charter Communications Stamford, CT1,100 jobs $100 million
ASOS Union City, GA 1,620 jobs $42 million
Luxottica Group NA McDonough, GA 1,000 jobs $78 million
Amazon Jefferson, GA 1,000 jobs N/A
Infosys Ltd. Indianapolis, IN2,000 jobs $8.7 million
XPO Logistics Supply Chain, Inc. Lebanon, IN 1,160 jobs $49.4 million
Amazon Hebron, KY 2,700 jobs $1.5 billion
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Georgetown, KY 1,209 jobs $1.3billion
Diversified Consultants Inc. Louisville, KY 1,000 jobs $6.7 million
DXC Orleans Parish, LA2,000 jobs N/A
Amazon Baltimore City, MD1,500 jobs $225 million
Amazon Romulus, MI 1,600 jobs $140 million
Centria Healthcare Farmington Hills, MI1,200 jobs $10 million
Amazon Shelby Charter Twp., MI1,025 jobs $40 million
24/7 In Touch Clark Cty., NV 1,200 jobs $1.3 million
Amazon Staten Island, NYC2,250 jobs $100 million
Amazon Manhattan, NYC2,000 jobs $55 million
Strategic Financial Solutions Amherst, NY1,547 jobs $2.1 million
Tesla - Solar City Buffalo, NY1,460 jobs N/A
Spotify Manhattan, NYC 1,050 jobs $200 million
EY Manhattan, NYC 1,152 jobs $279.8 million
Allstate Mecklenburg Cty., NC2,250 jobs $22.6 million
Infosys Wake Cty., NC 2,000 jobs $8.7 million
Credit Suisse Wake Cty., NC1,200 jobs $65 million
Amazon North Randal, OHl 2,000 jobs $100 million
Ensemble HP, LLC Blue Ash, OH 1,100 jobs $34 million
Volvo Car USA, LLC Berkeley, SC 1,910 jobs $620 million
BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC Spartanburg, SC 1,000 jobs $600 million
Arthrex, Inc. Anderson, SC1,000 jobs $69 million
Tyson Foods Inc. Humboldt, TN 1,500 jobs $320 million
Denso Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc. Maryville, TN 1,000 jobs $1 billion
Textile Corp. of America Pikeville, TN 1,000 jobs $27.1 million
NTT Data Corp. Plano, TX 6,377 jobs $28.8 million
Nutri Biotech USA Garland, TX 1,600 jobs $100 million
USAA San Antonio, TX 1,500 jobs $70 million
United Parcel Arlington, TX1,400 jobs$22.7 million
C3 McGregor, TX 1,200 jobs $1.35 million
Pluralsight South Jordan, UT 2,464 jobs $371.8 million
Adobe Lehi, UT1,260 jobs $90 million
Navy Federal Credit Union Frederick Cty., VA 1,400 jobs $100 million
Favor Tech-Consulting, LLC Fairfax Cty., VA 1,200 jobs $1.7 million
Foxconn Mount Pleasant, WI 13,000 jobs $10 billion


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 2017 (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 — five states achieving the highest weighted overall scores were awarded Area Development’s 2018 Gold Shovels in five population categories: 12+ million, 8+ to 12 million, 5+ to 8 million, 3+ to 5 million, and fewer than 3 million. Runners-up in each of these population categories were awarded 2018 Silver Shovels.

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