• Free for qualified executives and consultants to industry

  • Receive quarterly issues of Area Development Magazine and special market report and directory issues


2017 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Michigan, New Jersey and North Carolina Awarded Silver Shovels - States with Populations 8 to 12 Million

Q2 2017

MichiganIt’s hardly a surprise that the fortunes of Michigan rise and fall with the automotive industry. It’s been that way for generations, even as the sector has expanded significantly across the South and elsewhere. So you know things are running smoothly in the auto sector when the state’s jobless rate (5.1 percent, Dec. 2016) settles into a healthy place within a few tenths of a percent of the national rate.

2016 Top Projects: Michigan*

Population: 9.93 Million

Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Livonia E 1,000 $90 million Fulfillment Center
2. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles LLC Sterling Heights E 700 $1.5 billion Automotive
3. Flex-N-Gate Detroit E 650 $95 million Automotive
4. Fuyao Automotive North America Plymouth E 533 $66 million Automotive
5. Ford Motor Co. Livonia E 500 $1.4 billion Automotive
6. C3 Ventures Flint E 380 $10 million Automotive
7. Lipari Foods Warren N 337 $36 million Warehouse/Distribution
8. Duo Security Ann Arbor E 301 $2.5 million Information Technology
9. Valeo North America Auburn Hills E 290 $5 million Automotive
10. Gestamp North America Chelsea N 235 $158.5 million Automotive
*Represents a state/local sponsor

Indeed, read through the most noteworthy Michigan economic development projects revealed in 2016 and the vast majority are automotive. Many are big-dollar deals, such as the $1.5 billion investment planned in Sterling Heights by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and the $1.4 billion project that Ford has on the books in Livonia. The plan in Sterling Heights is to retool in order to make the new Ram 1500 pickups. Ford’s proposal for the company’s Livonia transmission plant will support production of the F-150 and Raptor trucks. A statement from Ford’s president for the Americas, Joe Hinrichs, observed that “Ford employs more hourly workers and builds more vehicles in the United States than any other automaker,” and the Livonia plan would add another 500.

Even so, automobiles aren’t everything in Michigan. The state continues to focus attention on such sectors as aerospace, defense, cybersecurity, and agribusiness. And from a job-creation perspective, the biggest deal of the past year was an Amazon fulfillment center.

New JerseyDiversity brings prosperity, as revealed in New Jersey’s list of 2016 economic development success stories. There are headquarters projects, technology developments, energy-related operations, cabinetry and fence manufacturing as well as distribution. A little bit of everything would seem to go a long way.

2016 Top Projects: New Jersey

Population: 8.79 Million

Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Amazon Carteret & Florence N 2,000 N/A* Fulfillment Centers
2. Philadelphia 76ers Camden N 250 $82 million Headquarters
3. Holtec International Camden N 235 $260 million Energy Equipment
4. Allergan Sales LLC Madison E 300 $103.7 million Headquarters
5. iCIMS Holmdel N 390 $41.1 million Technology
6. JPMorgan Chase Jersey City E 2,150 $68.3 million Financial Services
7. Fabuwood Cabinetry Corp. Newark N 276 $57.9 million Cabinetry
8. Charles Komar & Sons Jersey City N 480 $22.2 million Headquarters
9. Barrette Outdoor Living Galloway N 271 $26.2 million Outdoor Products
10. Newark E 350 $56.7 million Technology

The state stands to cash in on more than 2,000 financial services jobs that JPMorgan Chase is moving across the Hudson River from New York City to Jersey City. Another Manhattan export to Jersey City is apparel retailer Charles Komar & Sons. Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers sailed across the Delaware River to set up a state-of-the-art headquarters and training facility in the New Jersey community of Camden, creating 250 more New Jersey jobs.

Like a number of states, New Jersey continues to benefit from the ever-expanding Amazon, which swept in with a 2,000-job announcement of new fulfillment centers in Middlesex and Burlington counties. The company already operates multiple centers in New Jersey and employed more than 5,000 people, but needed more facilities, it said, “to provide the fastest possible delivery times.”

North CarolinaAmazon’s nationwide growth includes 1,500 proposed jobs at a distribution center near Charlotte Douglas International Airport, one of North Carolina’s big 2016 announcements that helped add up to Silver Shovel honors. A nice mix of high-end projects rounded out a healthy year in the Tar Heel State.

2016 Top Projects: North Carolina

Population: 10.10 Million

Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Amazon Charlotte N 1,500 $50 million Fulfillment Center
2. Everest Textile Co., Ltd. Forest City N 610 $18.5 million Textiles
3. Mountaire Farms Siler City E 600 $50 million Food Processing
4. Avadim Technologies, Inc. Asheville E&N 551 $20.4 million Biotech/Pharmaceuticals & Headquarters
5. INC Research, LLC Morrisville E 550 $51.5 million Biotech Headquarters
6. HAECO Americas Greensboro E 500 $60 million Aviation MRO
7. Grifols Therapeutics Clayton E 390 $210 million Biotech/Pharmaceuticals
8. Corning, Inc. Hickory & Winston-Salem E 355 $205 million Fiber & Cables
9. GF Linamar Mills River N 350 $217 million Automotive
10. GKN Driveline Mebane, Sanford, Roxboro & Maiden E 302 $206.6 million Automotive

The North Carolina economy has, in fact, been among the nation’s fastest-growing in recent years. Population is increasing and GDP growth has been through the roof, well ahead of the U.S. average. Though economists expect 2017 growth to be a bit slower, it’s still moving in a healthy direction.

Beyond Amazon, other big announcements had three-digit job figures attached to them — hundreds and hundreds of attractive jobs. Three deals were in the biotech sector that loves North Carolina, two in automotive, another in aviation, and one in telecommunications cabling. Joining those were wins in the traditional sectors of textiles and food processing.

2017 Gold Shovel Awards: The Winning States

  • Illinois
  • Georgia
  • Arizona
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
Read More

2017 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Billion Dollar(s) Projects Of The Year (2016)

Project Location Jobs Investment
Shandong Sun Paper Arkadelphia, AR 250 $1B
Tellurian Investments Calcasieu Parish, LA 551 $11.8Bb
Venture Global LNG Plaquemines Parish 250 $8.5B
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles LLC Sterling Heights, MI 700 $1.5B
Ford Motor Co. Expansion Livonia, MI 500 $1.4B
Continental Tire Hinds County, MS 2,500 $1.5B
Royal Dutch Shell Potter, PA 600 $6B
General Motors Spring Hill, TN 1,431 $1B
St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
Memphis, TN 1,800 $1B
Lockheed Martin Fort Worth, TX 1,000 $1.2B
ExxonMobil Beaumont, TX 40 $1.2B
Samsung Austin, TX 250 $1B
Read More

2017 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Large Job-Creating Projects Of The Year (2016)*

Project Location Jobs Investment
Cognizant Technology Solutions Des Moines, IA 1,014 $9M
Under Armour Sparrows, MD 1,000 $174M
Continental Tire Hinds County, MS 2,500 $1.5M
Topship LLC Gulfport, MS 1,000 $68M
JPMorgan Chase Jersey City, NJ 2,150 $68.3M
St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital
Memphis, TN 1,800 $1B
General Motors Spring Hill, TN 1,431 $1B
GM Financial Arlington, TX 1,300 $35M
Lockheed Martin Fort Worth, TX 1,000 $1.2B
McKesson Corp. Irving, TX 1,000 $157M
ADP Norfolk, VA 1,800 $32.3M
CIOX Health Phoenix, AZ 2,820 $15M
Lucid Motors Casa Grande, AZ 2,213 $735M
Raytheon Missile Systems Tucson, AZ 1,975 $352.3M
ADP Tempe, AZ 1,500 $33.8M
Oscar Tempe, AZ 1,250 $5M
Wells Fargo Chandler, AZ 1,200 $25M
Farmers Insurance Phoenix, AZ 1,188 $41.3M
Snapchat Venice Beach, CA 1,194 $32M
Google, Inc. Boulder, CO 1,000 $150M
ADP, LLC Maitland, FL 1,600 $28.4M
NCR Atlanta, GA 1,800 $145M
Anthem Atlanta, GA 1,800 $20M
UPS Atlanta, GA 1,250 $400M
Home Chef Dekalb, GA 1,200 $3.4M
Sentury Tire Troup, GA 1,000 $150M
Rivian Automotive Normal, IL 1,000 $175M
* See e-Commerce Projects of the Year chart for other
large job-creating projects.
Read More

2017 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: E-Commerce* Projects Of The Year (2016)

Project Location Jobs Investment
Amazon Aurora, CO 250 $27M
Amazon Jacksonville, FL 1,500 $198M
Amazon Jackson County, GA 500 N/A**
Amazon Edwardsville,
Joliet, IL
4,500 $355M
Amazon Edgerton & Kansas City 2,000 $292.6M
Amazon Livonia, MI 1,000 $90M
Amazon Shakopee, MN 1,000 $250M
Amazon North Las Vegas, NV 1,000 $18M
Amazon Carteret & Florence, NJ 2,000 N/A**
Amazon Charlotte, NC 1,500 $50M
Amazon Palmer & Pittston, PA 850 N/A**
Amazon Houston, TX 1,000 $136M
* Projects represent Amazon fulfillment centers
**Investment confidential
Read More

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 2016 (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 2017 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 2017 Silver Shovels.

Exclusive Research