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2018 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Texas, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Kentucky and Nevada Awarded Gold Shovels

Q2 2018

Texas — 12+ Million Population Category The latest list of Gold Shovel Award accomplishments is filled with Texas-size headlines announced last year. Leading the way was the potential for more than 6,000 new jobs as Japanese-owned NTT Data Services makes a move to a new headquarters location in Plano. Another 1,600 jobs will be created through expansion at the R&D and production facilities that Korea-based Nutribiotech USA maintains in Garland. Add to that a total of 4,000 more jobs at three diverse developments: USAA’s financial services growth in San Antonio, a new UPS shipping hub in Arlington, and expansion at a C3 customer contact center in McGregor.

To be sure, there were also projects related to the traditional Texan strengths in petroleum and chemical production. These tend to be very big-ticket items, such as the $10 billion Exxon-Mobil SABIC venture in Portland, an MMEX Resources Corp. refinery in Fort Stockton, and an expansion of the Agrium Inc. fertilizer facility in Borger. But there was also room for technology-related news, including the plan for Finisar Corp. to expand by 500 jobs in optical communications components manufacturing in Sherman.

2017 Top Projects: Texas*

Population: 28.30 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. NTT Data Corp. Plano E 6,377 $28.8 million IT Services/Hdqtrs.
2. Nutri Biotech USA Garland E 1,600 $100 million Supplements
3. USAA San Antonio E 1,500 $70 million Insurance/Financial Services
4. United Parcel Services Arlington N 1,400 $22.7 million Logistics/Distribution
5. C3 McGregor E 1,200 $1.35 million Customer Care Center
6. ExxonMobil - SABIC Portland N 600 $10 billion Ethylene
7. Valero Energy Corp. and Magellan Midstream Partners JV Pasadena N 60 $820 million Distribution
8. Agrium Borger E 30 $720 million Fertilizer
9. MMEX Resources Corp. Fort Stockton N 100 $450 million Refinery
10. Finisar Corp. Sherman N 500 $390 million Lasers (VCSELs)
*Represents a state/local sponsor

North Carolina — 8+ Million to 12 Million Category The job market in Charlotte is in good hands with Allstate, thanks to the insurer’s announcement that it plans to expand its operations center. The plan would add 2,250 jobs to the 1,400 already there and is one of the reasons North Carolina landed a Gold Shovel recognition. Credit Suisse, meanwhile, will expand its financial services operations in the Research Triangle Park area, and that 1,200-job announcement was followed later in the year by a 2,000-job pledge from Infosys, with a tech hub plan that’s also in the Raleigh area.

North Carolina boasts a solid and diverse manufacturing scene, too, which is reflected in its 2017 list of success stories. Triangle Tyre Co. announced plans to create 800 tire manufacturing jobs, Pilgrim’s Pride is expanding in Lee County, and the state celebrated positive headlines in both pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical packaging, and in both wood and paper products.

2017 Top Projects: North Carolina*

Population: 10.27 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. AllstateMecklenburg Cty.N 2,250 $22.6 million Insurance
2. Infosys Wake Cty. N 2,000 $8.7 millionInformation Technology
3. Credit Suisse Wake Cty. N 1,200 $65 million Financial Services
4. Triangle Tyre Co. Edgecombe Cty. N 800 $580 million Automotive
5. AXA Mecklenburg Cty. E 550 $18 million Financial Services
6. Fresenius Kabi Wilson Cty. N 445 $150 million Pharmaceuticals
7. EGGER Davidson Cty. N 770 $700 million Wood Products
8. Pilgrim’s Pride Lee Cty. E 350 $117 million Food Processing
9. Corning Durham Cty. E 317 $189 million Pharmaceutical Packaging
10. Clearwater Paper Corp. Cleveland Cty. E 180 $330 million Paper Products
*Represents a state/local sponsor

Wisconsin — 5+ Million to 8 Million Category The biggest economic-development prize of 2017 (and one of the very biggest ever) landed in Wisconsin last year and helped the state earn its Gold Shovel recognition. Foxconn Technology Group picked the state for an LCD manufacturing operation in Racine County worth as much as $10 billion and 13,000 jobs. The company calls itself the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, and it’s probably best known as the maker of Apple’s iPhone.

It’s a state famous for cheese, so maybe it’s not a surprise that food processing projects are high on its list of success stories — but they’re not entirely about cheese. The gummy bear business is good for nearly 400 new jobs in Pleasant Prairie, where Haribo of America is planning not just a factory but a museum and gummy bear store. The Brakebush Brothers facility in Westfield has to do with chicken processing. Dairy is part of the driving force behind the Kwik Trip food production expansion in La Crosse, along with bread and buns. And cheese is on the menu at the Masters Gallery Foods’ manufacturing project in Oostburg.

2017 Top Projects: Wisconsin

Population: 5.82 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Foxconn Mount Pleasant N 13,000 $10 billion Electronics
2. Haribo of America Manufacturing LLC Pleasant Prairie N 385 $220 million Food Processing
3. Generac Power Systems Waukesha, Jefferson, Whitewater E 400 $73 million Hdqtrs. & R&D
4. Kwik Trip, Inc. La Crosse E 329 $139 million Food Processing
5. Mills Fleet Farm Group, LLC Chippewa Falls E 284 $69 million Distribution
6. U.S. Venture, Inc. Appleton N 214 $56 million Headquarters
7. Brakebush Brothers, Inc. Westfield E 219 $48 million Food Processing
8. Sigma-Aldrich Corp. Sheboygan Falls E 175 $64 million Pharmaceuticals/Chemicals
9. Masters Gallery Foods, Inc. Oostburg N 150 $36 million Food Processing
10. Dynamic Recycling, Inc. Onalaska N 153 $13 million Recycling

Kentucky — 3 to 5 Million Category It’s hard not to earn a Gold Shovel Award when your state lands a pair of billion-plus-dollar projects and multiple deals promising four-digit job growth. Toyota is investing $1.3 billion in its new, more nimble manufacturing system at its Georgetown assembly plant, said to be the company’s biggest manufacturing operation. The idea is to be able to make engineering and design changes more quickly.

Another hefty automotive investment, at $900 million, comes from Ford Motor Co. in Louisville, where Ford Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators come off the line. Just south of Louisville in Shepherdsville, New Flyer of America is setting up a 550-employee bus and coach parts manufacturing facility.

The state’s other billion-dollar deal is from Amazon — $1.5 billion, actually, bringing 2,700 jobs — represents a major air cargo facility at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. A thousand-job project involves a Diversified Consultants call center in Louisville, and Kentucky is benefiting from growth in steel, aluminum, and chemicals.

2017 Top Projects: Kentucky*

Population: 4.40 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Amazon Hebron N 2,700 $1.5 billion E-Commerce Fulfillment
2. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky Georgetown E 1,209 $1.3 billion Automotive
3. Ford Motor Company KTP Louisville E 500 $900 million Automotive
4. Grainger Louisville N 431 $273 million Distribution
5. Nucor Steel Gallatin Ghent E 75 $213.1 million Steel
6. Logan Aluminum, Inc. Russellville E 60 $125 million Aluminum
7. Cabot Corp. Carrollton N 32 $89 million Chemicals
8. Mubea Precision Springs, Inc Florence E 118 $73.3 million Automotive
9. New Flyer of America, Inc Shepherdsville N 550 $40 million Transit Bus/MotorcoachParts
10. Diversified Consultants Inc. Louisville N 1,000 $6.7 million Call Center
*Represents a state/local sponsor

Nevada — Fewer Than 3 Million Population Category Much of the headline activity resulting in Nevada receiving a Gold Shovel award was focused on Boulevard Mall, an iconic half-century-old center that has been diversifying into the call center business. Leading the way from a jobs-promised perspective was the announcement that 24-7 Intouch, a contact center developer with campuses in multiple communities, would add the Las Vegas area to its list with a center slated to employ more than a thousand. The IT company manages customer contacts through multiple channels, from voice and live chat to social media and email.

2017 Top Projects: Nevada*

Population: 2.99 Million


Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. 24/7 In Touch Clark Cty. N 1,200 $1.3 million Information Technology
2. Teletech Clark Cty. N 450 $1.8 million IT Consulting
3. The Anthem Companies, Inc. Clark Cty. E 400 $5.4 million Health Insurance
4. PODS Enterprises, LLC Washoe Cty. N 308 $1.1 million Logistics Operations
5. Daehan Solution Nevada, LLC Lyon Cty. N 231 $26.8 million Automotive
6. Xtreme Manufacturing, LLC Clark Cty. E 204 $8 million Heavy Equipment
7. Sunshine Minting Clark Cty. E 170 $5.5 million Coin Minting
8. Levi Strauss Clark Cty. E 150 $16.2 million Logistics Operations
9. Alchemy Washoe Cty N 160 $150,000 Technology Hdqtrs.
10. Cardinal Paint Clark Cty. N 100 $10 million Paint Products
*Represents a state/local sponsor

Just a stone’s throw away, TeleTech Holdings unveiled plans for another 450 jobs. In making the announcement, Martin DeGhetto, chief operating officer, noted that “Las Vegas provided an excellent market opportunity to create a new customer experience center, given its outstanding labor force, strong local partnerships, and availability of workforce training.” Health insurer Anthem, meanwhile, picked a spot that was a Macy’s store for a Las Vegas office.

Nevada’s major developments were diverse in nature. More than 400 new jobs are on the way in a couple of logistics-related operations announced in 2017, the automotive sector made a dent in the jobs market, and a city known for cashing in chips also landed jobs with a coin minting operation.

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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