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2018 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards Recognize States’ Efforts to Attract High-Value Investment & Large Job-Creating Projects

More than 200 projects across multiple states brought with them the promise -- in total -- of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investment.

Q2 2018

It was a year for some of the biggest deals ever done. In terms of jobs created, few single projects in history can match the 13,000 promised by the electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group, which in July announced plans to make LCD screens at a greenfield site in southeastern Wisconsin. It’s a hefty job count, and an impressive investment in dollars, too — $10 billion.

That’s a grand prize, to be sure, but there were dozens of announcements across multiple states that brought with them the promise of a four-figure increase in jobs. NTT Data Corp. says nearly 6,400 jobs are on the way in Texas. Amazon said there would be 2,700 created in Kentucky, more than 4,000 at two sites in New York, 2,000 in Ohio, and several other projects with job counts between 1,000 and 2,000. There was a promise of nearly 2,500 Pluralsight online education IT jobs in Utah, and a 2,000 computer programming jobs at DXC in New Orleans. And India-based Infosys plans for more than 2,000 jobs each in Indianapolis and North Carolina.

In terms of big-dollar deals, the Foxconn project was not the only $10 billion deal. That distinction was shared by the ExxonMobil SABIC project in Texas. To be sure, energy-related projects often carry large price tags. Another example is the nation’s biggest wind farm, announced by Invenergy LLC, General Electric, and American Electric Power. Worth $4.5 billion, it’s under construction in the Oklahoma panhandle and could provide power for more than a million utility customers. In all, there were a dozen projects last year with investments exceeding a billion dollars.

2018 Gold Shovel Awards: The Winning States

  • Texas
  • North Carolina
  • Wisconsin
  • Kentucky
  • Nevada
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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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