|2011 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Kansas and Mississippi Awarded Silver Shovels - States with Populations Less than 4 Million
|Recognition of individual states for their achievements in attracting big projects during 2010 while creating a significant number of high value-added new jobs as well as investment.
Area Development Special Presentation (Spring 2011)
This is fifth time Kansas has received a Silver
Shovel Award, being previously recognized in
2006-2008 and 2010 as well.
Kansas' exports rose to $9.93 billion in 2010, an
increase of about 11 percent from a 2009 decline.
The largest gains were seen in pharmaceutical
products and vehicle manufacturing. Although
slower to rebound, the aviation sector remained
the state's largest export industry, with $2.14 billion
in exports. In 2010 Kansas ranked tenth on Forbes'
"Best States for Business" list, up from 2009's rank
of 15th. Sectors with strong activity in 2010 were
healthcare, logistics, aviation, food processing, and
Allen Foods will construct a $30 million bakery
facility in Topeka's Central Crossing Commerce Park,
creating more than 50 new jobs. Incentives include
work force training, sales tax exemptions, and corporate
income tax credits for job creation and capital
In Lenexa, Client Services, a collection
and receivables agency,
will invest $3.43 million in a new
call center that will employ over
200 workers. The Lenexa site was
selected after a nationwide search
that included cities in New York,
Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
"Our location in Lenexa is
well-designed and a good overall
fit for our business," indicates
Michael Van Horn, director
of human resources for Client
Services. "The strong Midwest
work ethic also played a part in
our decision-making process."
This is the first time Mississippi
has been recognized with a
Shovel Award - partly secured
by its emerging high-tech sectors.
For example, four new projects
have committed to manufacturing
clean energy and clean energy-
related products in the state.
These projects represent total corporate
investments of over $3.2
billion and the creation of nearly
KiOR Inc. is building a first-ofits-
crude facility in Columbus. The
plant will process approximately
500 tons per day of wood biomass
and produce more than 11
million gallons of fuel per year.
Twin Creeks Technologies, a venture-
backed solar technology
company, plans to construct a
$175 million solar panel manufacturing
facility in Senatobia, which
will be the first renewable solar
technology production plant in
"The State of Mississippi has
been extremely helpful in driving
the agreement to closure in
record time," says Siva Sivaram,
chairman and chief executive officer
of Twin Creeks. "We look forward
to breaking ground on our
first manufacturing site and
becoming an active member of
the local community."
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 2010 (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 - three states achieving the highest weighted overall score are awarded Area Development's 2011 Gold Shovels. Runner-ups
in three population categories - over 9 million, between 4 and 9 million, and under 4 million - are awarded 2011 Silver Shovels..