THE GOLD & SILVER SHOVEL WINNERS
Hover over the winning states in the above tabs to see the top 2011 investment projects, creating high value-added jobs in new or expanded facilities, which lead to that state being recognized as a Gold or Silver Shovel winner.
Landing new investment projects is a tough job for economic development organizations - not only do they need the right combination of site characteristics, they face intense competition from other states for these critical jobs. They must sell, strategize, market, respond, and have better aces up their sleeves than their competition. They must make quick decisions because companies are calling the shots in this weak economic climate and have plenty of other places to go if they turn down their deal or if they offer a weak counterproposal. Even companies that have been in a state for years, and have everything to gain by staying, expect concessions when they are ready to expand. Our annual Shovel Awards recognize 18 states that were highly successful in 2011 in marketing their attributes, building relationships with existing businesses and prospective clients, and customizing incentive packages to land big deals, often worth billions of dollars and thousands of jobs - ultimately strengthening their reputations as good places to do business.
Silver Shovel Awards
POPULATION OF 9+ MILLION
POPULATION OF 5+ TO 9 MILLION
POPULATION OF 3+ TO 5 MILLION
POPULATION OF 3 MILLION OR FEWER
Projects Of the Year
GM Spring Hill Manufacturing
Continental Tire the Americas
Area 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 2011 (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 2012 Gold Shovels in four population categories: 9+ million, 5+ to 9 million, 3+ to 5 million, and fewer than 3 million. Runners up in each of these population categories are awarded 2012 Silver Shovels.