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EV and Semiconductor Projects Stand Out in States Receiving Area Development’s 18th Annual Shovel Awards

With concerns about climate change now supplanting pandemic fears, projects to produce EVs — and the semiconductors used by vehicles and other high-tech goods — come to the forefront in this year’s Shovel Awards report.

Q2 2023


Area Development’s annual 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 asked for information from all 50 states about their top job-creation and investment projects initiated in 2022. 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 company investments, the number of new facilities, and the diversity of industry represented — five states achieving the highest weighted overall scores were awarded Area Development’s Gold Shovels in five population categories: fewer than 2 million, 2+ to 4 million, 4+ to 6 million, 6+ to 10 million, and 10+ million. The runners-up in each of the above population categories earned Silver Shovels. This year, just one state was given our Platinum Shovel award in recognition of the fact that the state went beyond the Gold standard for job creation and investment.

2023 PLATINUM Shovel Awards: The Winning States

  • North Carolina (10+ Million Population)

2023 Gold Shovel Awards: The Winning States

  • Ohio (10+ Million Population)
  • Arizona (6+ to 10 Million Population)
  • Kentucky (4+ to 6 Million Population)
  • Kansas (2+ to 4 Million Population)
  • Idaho (Under 2 Million Population)

2023 Silver Shovel Awards

10+ Million Population Category

  • Georgia
  • Michigan
  • Texas

6+ to 10 Million Population Category

  • Virginia
  • Indiana
  • Tennessee

4+ to 6 Million Population Category

  • Alabama
  • South Carolina
  • Wisconsin

2+ to 4 Million Population Category

  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • Mississippi
  • Utah

Under 2 Million Population Category

  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia
If there’s one thing that has been consistent with our Shovel Awards from year to year, it’s the fact that nothing gets in the way of progress and good news. Even amid challenging times such as the COVID pandemic, lots of positive developments move forward. The uncertainty we all felt during the worst parts of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 didn’t stop location and expansion projects from blossoming.

In 2022, the pandemic was fading, the economy was sizzling, and growth was continuing to generate exciting economic development headlines. And interestingly, many of the headlines were linked to a different critical challenge as daunting as the pandemic, potentially even more so. That would be the challenge of climate change. Concerns about the environment are accelerating the shift to electric transportation, and in 2022, that shift was a catalyst for huge projects across the country.

The latest Shovel Awards reflect this in a big way. Many of the biggest recent projects involve the manufacture of electric vehicles or the batteries that power them — check the sidebar for more on that. Meanwhile, many other projects driving this round of Shovel Awards reflect the increasingly active domestic semiconductor industry, fueled in part by federal incentives and in part by an ever-increasing hunger for chips that has driven painful shortages. And as noted in the related sidebar on that sector, some of those shortages can be linked to the impact of the COVID pandemic.

Our Shovel Award honors are based on information shared with us by state economic development officials. The info was current at the time it was provided, though it goes without saying that from time to time, plans are later revised or delayed by unforeseen circumstances.

We’ve spotlighted states whose project activity has been exceptionally strong by bestowing Gold Shovel and Silver Shovel awards. And like last year, we’ve put a Platinum Shovel spotlight on one state with job creation and investment activity that is even further above and beyond. Read on for the latest good news!

First, the Platinum
North Carolina earns another Platinum Shovel with a list of major projects that covers most of the economic bases. Leading the way is one of our Manufacturing Project of the Year awards, which happens to be one of the many related to the manufacture of electric vehicles, or EVs. A Vietnamese newcomer to this sector, VinFast plans to hire as many as 7,500 people at a plant in Moncure, North Carolina, which is slated to be operational by 2025.

VinFast is to be a $4 billion investment. Semiconductor maker Wolfspeed one-ups that news with a $5 billion deal to manufacture silicon carbide wafers in Siler City. The wafers are used to form semiconductors, and the company’s chip-related products will help make EVs go — Wolfspeed has partnerships with General Motors, among other automakers. The Siler City plant is to create about 1,800 jobs.

Nearly as many jobs are promised in Greensboro by Boom Supersonic, which is gearing up to make supersonic airliners that go by the name Overture. The company boasts more than 130 orders for Overture aircraft already, and beyond the ability to fly twice as fast as the average commercial airliner, the Overture runs on sustainable aviation fuel, so there’s yet another environmental angle. The company’s Greensboro investment is about half a billion dollars.

North Carolina has covered most of the bases with its recent economic news — with another sector being retailing. Macy’s intends to create 2,800 distribution jobs in China Grove, with an investment of more than half a billion dollars in an automated fulfillment center, earning the project one of our Non-Manufacturing Project of the Year awards.

The pharmaceuticals sector shows up big-time, too. Eli Lilly and Co. has promised to spend nearly a billion dollars and hire nearly 600 people at a brand-new manufacturing facility in Concord that will make injectable products and devices. The company cited local manufacturing technology experience and the proximity of science-focused universities among its decision points.

Also, in pharmaceuticals, BestCo is expanding in Mooresville. The company makes over-the-counter drugs and supplements and has promised a $177 million investment that’ll create nearly 400 jobs. Another life sciences win is the $188 million FUJIFILM Irvine Scientific facility in Research Triangle Park that will make cell culture media and create about a hundred jobs.

The state’s success spreads to food processing. SOPAKCO, which specializes in shelf-stable combat rations for the military (among other customers), plans 440 jobs in Laurinburg, while Believer Meats will make what’s known as cultivated meat in Wilson at the world’s largest facility of its type. The state’s other major announcements are in the fields of steel, specialty chemicals, and nuclear power.
SlideshowTop 2023 Projects By State

2023 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Projects Of The Year (2022)

Company City # Jobs Investment
Micron Clay, NY 9,000 $100 billion
Hyundai Motor Group Ellabell, GA 8,100 $5.5 billion
VinFast Moncure, NC 7,500 $4 billion
Panasonic Corp. of America De Soto, KS 4,000 $4 billion
Intel Corporation New Albany, OH 3,000 $20 billion
Texas Instruments Sherman, TX 3,000 $29 billion
TSMC Phoenix, AZ 2,500 $28 billion
Our Next Energy (ONE) Novi, MI 2,112 $1.6 billion
Micron Boise, ID 2,000 $15 billion
Envision AESC US Bowling Green, KY 2,000 $2 billion
LEGO Group Chesterfield County, VA 1,761 $1 billion
Redwood Materials Ridgeville, SC 1,500 $3.5 billion
Starplus Energy LLC Kokomo, IN 1,400 $2.7 billion
Novelis Bay Minette, AL 1,000 $2.5 billion
Steel Dynamics Columbus, MS 1,000 $2.5 billion
Company City # Jobs Investment
Google Chicago, IL 5,000 $280 million
LiveView Technologies Orem, UT 3,400 $328.2 million
Macy’s Inc. China Grove, NC 2,800 $584.3 million
Medpace, Inc Cincinnati, OH 1,500 $150 million
Exact Sciences Corp. Madison, WI 1,300 $331.5 million

2023 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Top 2022 Projects By State

  • 2022 Top Projects - Platinum: North Carolina

    Population: 10.55 million

    CompanyCityN/E# JobsInvestmentIndustry
    VinFast*Moncure N7,500$4 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Macy’s Inc.**China Grove N2,800$584.3 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    WolfspeedSiler CityN1,801$5 billionSemiconductors/Chips
    Boom SupersonicGreensboroN1,761$500 millionAerospace
    Eli Lilly and CompanyConcordN589$939 millionPharmaceuticals
    GE Hitachi Nuclear EnergyWilmingtonE486$85.2 millionNuclear Power Plants
    SOPAKCOLaurinburgN440$85 millionFood Processing
    BestCoMooresvilleE394$177 millionPharmaceuticals
    Albemarle CorporationCharlotteN205$200 millionSpecialty Chemicals
    NucorLexingtonN180$310 millionSteel
    FUJIFILM Irvine ScientificResearch Triangle ParkN101$188 millionLife Sciences/Biotech
    Believer MeatsWilsonN100$123.4 millionFood Processing
    (pop. 10.55 million) States with populations 10+ million
    Manufacturing Project of the Year
    **Non-Manufacturing Project of Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Gold: Ohio

    Population: 11.76 million

    CompanyCityN/E # Jobs InvestmentIndustry
    Intel Corporation*New AlbanyN3,000$20 billionSemiconductors/Chips
    Hondal/LG Energy SolutionJefferson Township,
    Marysville, Anna, East Liberty
    N/E2,527$4.2 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Ford Motor CompanyAvon LakeE 1,800$1.5 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Medpace, Inc.**CincinnatiE1,500$150 millionLife Sciences/Biotech
    SEMCORP Manufacturing USASidneyN1,199$915 millionAutomotive/Battery
    Total Quality LogisticsUnion TownshipE1,000$18 millionLogistics/Distribution
    TJX Digital, Inc.UnionN820$40 millionLogistics/Distribution
    Abbott LaboratoriesBowling GreenN450$536 millionMedical Devices
    Crane Carrier CorporationNew PhiladelphiaE434$15 millionAutomotive/Battery
    Kroger Fulfillment NetworkOakwoodN400$70 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Procter & Gamble Manufacturing CompanyBath TownshipN135$501 millionConsumer Products
    Barcel USAPerry TownshipN320$430.8 millionFood Products
    (pop. 11.76 million) States with populations 10+ million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
    **Non-Manufacturing Project of Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Gold: Arizona

    Population: 7.36 million

    CompanyCityN/E # Jobs InvestmentIndustry
    TSMC*PhoenixN2,500$28 billionSemiconductors/Chips
    LG Energy SolutionQueen CreekN1,500$1.4 billionAutomotive/Battery
    American Battery FactoryTucsonN1,000$1.2 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Nestle USAGlendaleN350$675 millionBeverages
    Procter & GambleCoolidgeN500$500 millionConsumer Products
    XNRGYMesaN900$300 millionHVAC Systems
    KPCT Advanced ChemicalsCasa GrandeN65$200 millionSemiconductors/Chips
    Chang Chun ArizonaCasa GrandeN300$300 millionSemiconductors/Chips
    NucorKingmanE140$100 millionSteel Production
    CorningGilbertN250$100 millionFiber Optic Cable
    FrameTecCamp VerdeN180$40 millionBuilding Products/Hdqtrs.
    SendosoPhoenixN1,000$40 millionTech/Software Hdqtrs.
    (pop. 7.36 million) States with populations 6+ to 10 million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Gold: Kentucky

    Population: 4.51 million

    CompanyCityN/E # JobsInvestmentIndustry
    Envision AESC US*Bowling GreenN2,000$2 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Trader Joe’s East, Inc.FranklinN876$259.4 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Ford Motor Company KTPLouisvilleE500$700 millionAutomotive/Battery
    Mayfield Consumer ProductsMayfieldE465$26.4 millionConsumer Products
    EnerVenue, Inc.ShelbyvilleN450$264 millionEnergy Storage Technology
    Ascend Elements, Inc.HopkinsvilleN400$941 millionAutomotive/Battery
    Novelis CorporationGuthrieE140$364.2 millionAluminum Products
    Beam SuntoryBostonE51$438.4 millionDistillery
    Sazerac Distilleries LLCLondonN50$600 millionDistillery
    Amazon AirHebronE0$570.4 millionLogistics/Fulfillment
    Catalent Pharma SolutionsWinchesterE262$171.4 millionPharmaceuticals
    UPSLouisvilleE315$155.5 millionLogistics/Distribution
    (pop. 4.51 million) States with populations 4+ to 6 million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Gold: Kansas

    Population: 2.94 million

    CompanyCityN/E # JobsInvestmentIndustry
    Clorox CompanyOlatheN250$22 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling Co.OlatheE0$326 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.TopekaE40$125 millionAutomotive
    Simmons Pet Food, Inc.EmporiaE177$115 millionFood Processing
    Simmons Pet Food, Inc.EdgertonN175$54 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Cargill Meat Solutions Corp.Dodge CityE0$57.8 millionFood Processing
    JTM Foods, LLCWichitaN120$40.1 millionFood Processing
    Hospira, Inc.McPhersonE26$49.2 millionLife Sciences/Biotech
    Panasonic Energy*De SotoN4,000$4 billionAutomotive /Battery
    Pratt Industries Corrugating Div.Park CityE78$128.5 millionConsumer Products
    Kubota/Great Plains ManufacturingSalinaE200$124 millionAgribusiness
    McCarty DairyRexfordE44$98 millionAgribusiness
    (pop. 2.94 million) States with populations 2+ to 4 million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Gold: Idaho

    Population: 1.94 million

    CompanyCityN/E # JobsInvestmentIndustry
    Micron*BoiseE2,000$15 billionSemiconductors
    MetaKunaN100$850 millionData Center
    SuntadoBurleyN104$123 millionFood Processing
    The Stow CompanyNampaN139$115.4 millionConsumer Products
    Matern (Go Go Squeeze)NampaE150$108 millionConsumer Products
    Wild RyeKetchumE28N/AHeadquarters
    Love’sMountain HomeN65$25 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Seeler IndustriesKunaN35$4 millionConsumer Products
    Trimjoist CorporationKunaN50$400,000Raw Materials
    Northwest FourslideLewistonN49$5 millionPrecision Stamping
    Black Market GelatoBoiseN12$2 millionFood Processing
    EquifaxBoiseE60N/ABusiness Services
    (pop. 1.94 million) States with populations under 2 million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Georgia

    Population: 10.9 million

    CompanyCityN/E # JobsInvestmentIndustry
    Hyundai Motor Group*EllabellN8,100$5.5 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Jack Link’sPerryN800$450 millionFood Processing
    Archer Aviation Inc.CovingtonN1,000$118 millionAerospace
    FREYR BatteryNewnanN700$2.6 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Norma Precision AmmunitionGarden CityN600$60 millionAmmunition/Headquarters
    Procter & GambleJacksonN350$205 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Boston ScientificJohns CreekN340$62 millionMedical Devices
    Saint-Gobain ADFORSDublinE400$28 millionConstruction Materials
    (pop. 10.9 million) States with populations 10+million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Michigan

    Population: 10.09 million

    CompanyCityN/E # JobsInvestmentIndustry
    General Motors LLCOrion TownshipN/E2,300$4 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Ultium Cells LLCLansingN/E1,700$2.5 billionAutomotive/Battery
    LG Energy Solution Michigan, Inc.HollandE1,200$1.7 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Our Next Energy (ONE)*NoviN2,112$1.6 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Magna Electric Vehicle StructuresSt. ClairE1,224$196.4 millionAutomotive
    Gentex CorporationOttawa CountyN/E500$300 millionAutomotive
    Lear CorporationOakland, Macomb, Grand Traverse Cos.N/E500$112.5 millionAutomotive
    Global Life Sciences Solutions USA LLCMuskegon CountyE200$430 millionLife Sciences/Medical Devices
    Invotek Group USAGenesee CountyE298$20.8 millionCommunication Products
    Axiom Group Inc.Village of CapacE200$13.3 millionAutomotive Parts/R&D
    UnismackKentwoodN185$41.8 millionFood Products
    (pop. 10.09 million) States with populations 10+million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2021 Top Projects - Silver: Texas

    Population: 30 million

    CompanyCityN/E # JobsInvestmentIndustry
    Cheniere Energy, Inc.GregoryE25$8 billionLNG Exports
    GlobiTech, Global Wafers USAShermanE1,500$5 billionSemiconductors/Chips
    CVRM (Texas) Inc.AmarilloN1,000$1.5 billionCritical Mineral Refining
    OCI BeaumontBeaumontN70$1 billionMethanol-Ammonia
    FUJIFILM Diosynth BiotechnologiesCollege StationE150$300 millionLife Sciences/Biotech
    Chick-fil-AHutchinsN325$275 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Expansion IndustriesHooksN400$150 millionAmmunition
    CelLink CorporationGeorgetownN2,000$130 millionElectronics
    TIAAFriscoN2,000$58 millionFinancial Services
    Texas Instruments*ShermanN3,000$29 billionSemiconductors/Chips
    Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing (KMM)KerrvilleN400$8 millionAerospace/Wire Harness Assemblies
    Tropicale Foods LLCLubbockN500$66 millionFood Processing
    (pop. 30 million) States with populations 10+million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Virginia

    Population: 8.68 million

    CompanyCityN/E # JobsInvestmentIndustry
    LEGO Group*Chesterfield CountyN1,761$1 billionToy Manufacturing
    World Class DistributionCaroline CountyN745$275 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    DroneUpVirginia BeachE510$7 millionAerospace
    AmazonAugusta CountyN500$120 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Pharmaceutical Product Development, LLCHenrico CountyE458$92.3 millionLife Sciences/Biotech
    AutoZone, Inc.New Kent CountyN352$185.2 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Plenty Unlimited Inc.Chesterfield CountyN300$300 millionIndoor Vertical Farming
    Coronado Global Resources Inc.Buchanan CountyE181$169.1 millionMining
    Lowe’s Companies Inc.SuffolkN100$75 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    HiltonFairfax CountyE350$50.3 millionCorporate Offices
    Hanley EnergyLoudoun CountyE343$8 millionEnergy Products
    M S International, Inc.SuffolkN80$61.6 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    (pop. 8.68 million) States with populations 6+ to 10 million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Indiana

    Population: 6.83 million

    CompanyCityN/E # JobsInvestmentIndustry
    Starplus Energy LLC*KokomoN1,400$2.7 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Eli Lilly & CompanyLebanonE500$2 billionLife Sciences/Biotech
    SkyWater Technology Foundry, Inc.West LafayetteN750$1.8 billionSemiconductors/Chips
    Nucor CorporationWaterlooE105$593.6 millionMetal Building Products
    General Motors LLCMarionE0$453.9 millionAutomotive/Battery
    Rolls-Royce CorporationIndianapolisE260$364.6 millionAerospace
    Nhanced Semiconductors, Inc.OdonN413$355.6 millionSemiconductors/Chips
    Exurban USA, Inc.Fort WayneN200$343.9 millionE-waste Recycling
    Evonik CorporationLafayetteE108$236.7 millionPharmaceuticals
    Andretti Autosport Holding Co., LLCFishersE500$192.2 millionHeadquarters
    Exel Inc.WhitelandN676$119.3 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Do Good Foods Fort Wayne LLCFort WayneN100$100.3 millionFood Processing
    (pop. 6.83 million) States with populations 6+ to 10 million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Tennessee

    Population: 7.05 million

    CompanyCityN/EJob CreationInvestmentIndustry
    LG Chem America Inc.ClarksvilleN860$3.2 billionCathode Materials
    Hankook Tire Co., Ltd.ClarksvilleE397$612 millionAutomotive
    Piedmont Lithium Inc.EtowahN117$582 millionLithium Hydroxide
    Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLCMorrisonE380$550 millionAutomotive
    3M CompanyClintonE585$466.2 millionConsumer Products
    Georgia-Pacific Consumer Operations LLCJacksonN220$425 millionConsumer Products
    Fiberon ColumbiaN310$312 millionDeck/Railing Products
    Ultium Cells LLCSpring HillE400$275 millionAutomotive/Battery
    WACKER Chemical Corp.CharlestonE225$260 millionPolysilicon
    Duksan Electera America, Inc.ShelbyvilleN101$94.6 millionElectrolytes/EV Batteries
    Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)LebanonN288$108.6 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Landmark Recovery Management Company LLCFranklinE1,300$7.5 millionBusiness Services/Hdqtrs.
    (pop. 7.05 million) States with populations 6+ to 10 million
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Alabama

    Population: 5.07 million

    Company City N/E # Jobs Investment Industry
    Novelis*Bay MinetteN1,000$2.5 billionAluminum Rolling/Recycling
    First SolarCourtlandN715$1.1 billionPhotovoltaics/Solar
    Airbus Americas Inc.MobileE1,000$700 millionAerospace
    Manna Beverages & VenturesMontgomeryN280$599.6 millionFood Processing
    DiageoMontgomeryN76$412.5 millionFood Processing
    James HardiePrattvilleE200$400 millionBuilding Products
    United Launch AllianceDecaturE51$317 millionAerospace
    Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLCMontgomeryE200$300 millionAutomotive/Battery
    Mobis North America Electrified Powertrain, LLCMontgomeryE400$205.1 millionAutomotive/Battery
    Hethcote EnergyGeneva CountyN100$96 millionSolar Panels
    John Soules Foods Alabama, LLCValleyE100$81 millionFood Processing
    Bella + Canvas, LLCWetumpkaN557$11.9 millionApparel
    (pop. 5.07 million) States with populations 4+ to 6 million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: South Carolina

    Population: 5.28 million

    Company City N/E # Jobs Investment Industry
    Redwood Materials*RidgevilleN1,500$3.5 billionAutomotive/Battery
    BMW ManufacturingWoodruffE300$1.7 billionAutomotive/Battery
    Envision AESCFlorenceN1,170$810 millionAuto Battery Recycling
    Nucor Corp.HugerE50$425 millionCarbon & Alloy Steel
    Kontrolmatik TechnologiesWalterboroN575$279 millionLithium-Ion Batteries
    Greenidge South CarolinaSpartanburgN40$264 millionData Center
    BoschNorth CharlestonE350$260 millionElectric Motors
    BoschAndersonE350$200 millionFuel Cells
    Health Supply USGreenvilleN600$150 millionMedical Devices
    BMWGreerE200$200 millionAutomotive/Battery
    Nucor Corp.HugerEN/A$200 millionCarbon & Alloy Steel
    (pop. 5.28 million) States with populations 4+ to 6 million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Wisconsin

    Population: 5.89 million

    Company City N/E # Jobs Investment Industry
    Exact Sciences Corp.**MadisonE1,300$331.5 millionR&D
    KCS International Inc.PulaskiE404$23.4 millionYachts
    Fincantieri Marine Group LLCSturgeon BayE400$100 millionShipbuilding
    Salm Partners, LLCDenmarkE193$35.2 millionFood Processing
    Formlabs Inc.MilwaukeeN150$1.2 millionHeadquarters
    Octopi Brewing, LLCWaunakeeE150$62.4 millionBeverages
    Summit Packaging SystemsRacineE125$25 millionMetal Valves/ Pipe Fittings
    McCain Foods USA, Inc.PloverE110$172.2 millionFood Processing
    Masters Gallery Foods, Inc.OostburgE105$61.5 millionFood Processing
    Phelps Industries, LLCJanesvilleE104$14.9 millionFood Processing
    Cummins Emission Solutions Mineral PointMineral PointE50$18.3 millionMotor Vehicle Parts
    Amtzen CorporationSharonN40$12.9 millionIron/Steel Pipe & Tube
    (pop. 5.89 million) States with populations 4+ to 6 million
    **Non-Manufacturing Project of Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Arkansas

    Population: 3.04 million

    Company City N/E # Jobs Investment Industry
    Tyson Foods, Inc.BentonvilleE800$400 millionFood Processing
    Tractor SupplyMaumelleN500$120 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Dollar GeneralNorth Little RockN285$60 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Highbar LLCOsceolaN200$450.1 millionIron and Steel Mfg.
    Hostess Brands LLCArkadelphiaN230$100 millionFood Processing
    Lowe’sNorth Little RockN150$80.4 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Lifeplus InternationalBatesvilleE150$36.7 millionPharmaceuticals
    The Bryce CompanySearcyE142$86.6 millionPaper Products
    FiocchiLittle RockN125$42.1 millionAmmunition
    Albemarle CorporationMagnoliaE100$618 millionFertilizer
    The Independent Stave CompanyBatesvilleN57$35.1 millionWood Containers/Pallets
    AFCO SteelLittle RockE115$35.4 millionFabricated Structural Metal
    (pop. 3.04 million) States with populations 2+ to 4 million
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Connecticut

    Population: 3.63 million

    Company City N/E # Jobs Investment Industry
    General Dynamics Electric BoatGrotonE1,500$200 millionDefense/Shipbuilding
    ASMLWiltonE1,000$200 millionSemiconductors/Chips
    Polamer Precision Inc.New BritainE400$1 millionAerospace
    ArvinasNew HavenE275N/ALife Sciences/Biotech
    MiradorStamfordE250N/AFinancial Services
    Clay Lacy AviationOxfordE200$20 millionAviation Services
    CignaWindsorEN/A$386 millionData Center
    Apollo Global ManagementGreenwichN200$100 millionFinancial Services
    BJ’S Wholesale ClubRocky HillN400$71.6 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    PfizerGrotonE100$40 millionPharmaceuticals
    Rich’s Food ProductsNew BritainE100$21 millionFood Processing
    (pop. 3.63 million) States with populations 2+ to 4 million
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Mississippi

    Population: 2.94 million

    Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
    Steel Dynamics*ColumbusE1,000$2.5 billionAluminum/Steel
    NissanCantonEN/A$500 millionAutomotive /Battery
    EnvivaBondN100$250 millionSustainable Wood
    CLAW ForestryGlosterN131$200 millionSawmill
    AltexTubeColumbusN58$110 millionSteel Tubing
    WalmartOlive BranchE250$90 millionDistribution/Logistics
    Menasha PackagingPelahatchieE21$79 millionCommercial Packaging
    Standvast FulfillmentSouthavenN360$4.4 millionDistribution/Logistics
    Homestead FurnitureNew AlbanyN117$2 millionFurniture
    BaxterByhaliaE105$11.6 millionDistribution/Logistics
    Terberg Taylor Americas GroupColumbusN90$16 millionTerminal Tractors
    Albany IndustriesCalhoun CityE85$182.5 millionFurniture
    (pop. 2.94 million) States with populations 2+ to 4 million
    *Manufacturing Project of the Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: Utah

    Population: 3.4 million

    Company City N/E # Jobs Investment Industry
    KCC InternationalTooele CityN120$42 millionConsumer Products
    Weir GroupWest Valley CityN133$22.6 millionEngineering Services
    American PackagingCedar CityN135$126.8 millionPackaging Products
    FrulactLoganN131$75.6 millionFood Processing
    JabilGrantsvilleN150$10 millionEnergy Storage
    Lineage LogisticsGrantsvilleN96$125 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Steves DoorsBrigham CityN137$20 millionDoor Manufacturing
    Blue Core LabsBeaverE140$50 millionFood Processing
    CytivaLoganE396$231.1 millionLife Sciences/Biotech
    Owens CorningNephiN70$52.5 millionBuilding Materials
    LiveView Technologies**OremE3,400$328.2 millionTechnology/Software
    Morgan StanleySouth JordanE800$1 millionFinancial Services
    (pop. 3.4 million) States with populations 2+ to 4 million
    **Non-Manufacturing Project of Year
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: South Dakota

    Population: 909,800)

    Company City N/E # Jobs Investment Industry
    GevoLake PrestonN92$977 millionJet Fuel
    Wholestone FarmsSioux FallsN1,100$500 millionFood Processing
    North Bend WindHarroldN10$267 millionWind Power Generation
    Royal CaninNorth Sioux CityE150$185 millionFood Processing
    Dakota Renewable HydrogenLake PrestonN5$141 millionGreen Hydrogen
    Kingsbury Wind FuelLake PrestonN3$140 millionWind Power Generation
    Valley Queen CheeseMilbankE130$100 millionFood Processing
    Brookings BiogasBrookings CountyN7$76 millionAgricultural Biogas
    Lakeside BiogasGrant CountyN7$52 millionAgricultural Biogas
    Maguire IronSioux FallsE60$33 millionPlate Work
    Black Tie ComponentsHartfordN40$10 millionTruss Manufacturing
    ManitouMadison, YanktonE400$80 millionHeavy Machinery
    (pop. 909,800)) States with populations under 2 million
  • 2022 Top Projects - Silver: West Virginia

    Population: 1.78 million

    Company City N/E # Jobs Investment Industry
    Nucor CorporationMason CountyN800$3.7 billionSteel
    Mountaintop Beverage LLCMonongalia CountyN280$280 millionFood & Beverages
    CMC MetalsBerkeley CountyN235$554 millionMetals Micro Mill
    BHE/Precision Cast PartsJackson CountyN200$500 millionTitanium Products
    OBT Bluefield LLCMercer CountyN150$40 millionBuilding Materials
    Owens & MinorMonongalia CountyN125$50 millionDistribution/Warehousing
    Pure WatercraftMason, Jackson, Wood Cos.NN100$5 millionOutboard Motors
    Omnis Sublimation Recovery TechnologiesWyoming CountyN100$60 millionRare Earth Materials
    GreenPower Motor CompanyKanawha CountyN200$6.7 millionElectric School Buses
    (pop. 1.78 million) States with populations under 2 million
  • 2023 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards: Projects Of The Year (2022)

    Company City # Jobs Investment
    MicronClay, NY 9,000$100 billion
    Hyundai Motor GroupEllabell, GA8,100$5.5 billion
    VinFastMoncure, NC7,500$4 billion
    Panasonic Corp. of AmericaDe Soto, KS4,000$4 billion
    Intel CorporationNew Albany, OH3,000$20 billion
    Texas InstrumentsSherman, TX3,000$29 billion
    TSMCPhoenix, AZ2,500$28 billion
    Our Next Energy (ONE)Novi, MI2,112$1.6 billion
    MicronBoise, ID2,000$15 billion
    Envision AESC USBowling Green, KY2,000$2 billion
    LEGO GroupChesterfield County, VA1,761$1 billion
    Redwood MaterialsRidgeville, SC1,500$3.5 billion
    Starplus Energy LLCKokomo, IN1,400$2.7 billion
    Novelis Bay Minette, AL1,000$2.5 billion
    Steel DynamicsColumbus, MS1,000$2.5 billion
    Company City # Jobs Investment
    GoogleChicago, IL5,000$280 million
    LiveView TechnologiesOrem, UT3,400$328.2 million
    Macy’s Inc.China Grove, NC2,800$584.3 million
    Medpace, IncCincinnati, OH1,500$150 million
    Exact Sciences Corp.Madison, WI1,300$331.5 million
And the Gold Goes To...
Automotive manufacturing is nothing new in Ohio, where Chevy, Honda, Ford and Acura models roll off assembly lines in large numbers. So, it’s hardly surprising that the state would take home a Gold Shovel Award with the help of lots of automotive announcements related to EVs. The biggest new deal involves Honda and LG Energy Solution partnering to make lithium-ion batteries for Honda EVs. It’s an investment of more than $4 billion with a job count that could exceed 2,500.

The need for EV batteries is also driving the creation of nearly 1,200 jobs in Sidney, where SEMCORP Advanced Materials Group is investing nearly a billion dollars. The factory will make separator film, a component in EV batteries. Ford, meanwhile, is spending a billion and a half dollars at its Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake. The plan would add 1,800 jobs making electric commercial vehicles.

Ohio boasts two of the Projects of the Year this time around. One is truly a megadeal — a $20 billion, 3,000 job semiconductor plant announced by Intel Corp. is recognized as a Manufacturing Project of the Year. That Intel plant is still under construction but its spot on the map is fast becoming a hot property — already, other tech companies are planning their own nearby projects. And the $150 million Medpace Inc. expansion in Cincinnati is recognized as a Non-Manufacturing Project of the Year. The clinical contract research organization offers development services in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors and plans to add 1,500 jobs.

In 2022, the pandemic was fading, the economy was sizzling, and growth was continuing to generate exciting economic development headlines. Arizona takes home a Gold Shovel Award that also owes a lot to semiconductor and EV developments. In Queen Creek, LG Energy Solution announced a $1.4 billion investment to create its first U.S. cylindrical EV battery plant, where production is to begin in 2025. And, as if that 1,500 job project wasn’t enough, the company followed up this spring by upping its planned investment to $5.5 billion, adding a lithium iron phosphate battery facility that’ll open in 2026. Meanwhile, American Battery Factory pledged a $1.2 billion lithium iron phosphate battery plant in Tucson that will employ a thousand people once it scales up between 2026 and 2028.

Chip-related projects are in the works from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) in Phoenix, worth $28 billion with a boost of 2,500 jobs (a Manufacturing Project of the Year), along with semiconductor chemical suppliers Chang Chun Arizona and KPCT Advanced Chemicals, both of which are coming to Casa Grande. Chang Chun promises as many as 300 jobs in its $300 million facility that should begin production in 2024, while KPCT is investing $200 million in a 65 job plant that will open by 2025.

Still, the Arizona story is well-rounded, with announcements in a number of other sectors. That includes a Corning fiberoptic cable plant in Gilbert, Nestlé USA creamer production facility in Glendale, a Nucor steel expansion in Kingman, a Procter & Gamble consumer products production operation in Coolidge, XNRGY’s U.S. headquarters and production of air handling equipment in Mesa, and FrameTec production of roof and floor trusses as well as wall panels in Camp Verde. And Sendoso, a tech company, is moving headquarters and a thousand jobs from California to Phoenix.

Kentucky earns a Gold Shovel with a characteristic blend of automotive, logistics, and local adult beverage flavor. It, too, rakes in the EV-related jobs, with the Envision AESC facility in Bowling Green leading the way with an expected 2,000 jobs, and recognized as a Manufacturing Project of the Year. Ascend Elements will be recycling EV batteries and making engineered cathode active materials in Hopkinsville, a billion-dollar deal worth about 400 jobs. In Louisville, Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant is expanding to the tune of $700 million and 500 jobs, preparing for production of the F-Series Super Duty truck.

Another project driven by climate change is the EnerVenue facility planned in Shelby County. About 450 people will make energy storage equipment there. Mayfield Consumer Products is recovering from severe tornado damage with a project that could create nearly 500 jobs. Catalent’s flagship pharma operation in Winchester is growing, and there are logistics projects involving Trader Joe’s in Franklin, Amazon Air in Hebron, and longtime Louisville logistics player UPS. As for the adult beverages, Beam Suntory’s expansion in the Kentucky community of Boston will make more Jim Beam while producing fewer greenhouse emissions, while bourbon-maker Sazerac is investing $600 million to build bourbon-barrel warehouses and expand its cooperage in the community of London.

As mentioned in the sidebar on EVs and batteries, Gold Shovel winner Kansas lands on the EV map in a big way with a Panasonic Energy Co. lithium-ion battery plant in De Soto worth as many as 4,000 jobs, which is recognized as a Manufacturing Project of the Year. That’s definitely a big deal, especially in a smaller state. But the state also records logistics wins that reflect its central location and a host of food processing and agribusiness deals that tap into its agricultural heritage.

On the logistics side, a Clorox distribution project in Olathe is worth as many as 250 jobs. Simmons Pet Food is creating 175 jobs in Edgerton for warehousing and distribution of its private-label pet products, a nice complement for the planned $115 million production expansion at its Emporia facility that will add 177 jobs. Other food processing announcements include Cargill Meat Solutions in Dodge City, JTM Foods in Wichita, and a $326 million state-of-the-art Heartland Coca-Cola production campus in Olathe. Other expansions include projects at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. in Topeka, Pratt Industries in Park City, McCarty Dairy in Rexford, Kubota/Great Plains Manufacturing in Salina, and at pharmaceutical maker Hospira in McPherson.

The Gold Shovel for the smallest states, population-wise, goes to Idaho, where the good news is led by the 2,000-job, $15 billion Micron expansion in Boise, a Manufacturing Project of the Year, which is mentioned in the sidebar on semiconductor production. The remainder of Idaho’s list of projects is a diverse assortment of plans that foretell a healthy economic future.

In Nampa, for example, The Stow Co. plans to make its custom closet organizers and home organization systems, and Materne is expanding its GoGo Squeez production facility that makes healthy foods in easy-to-tote packaging. Suntado will be making shelf-stable milk and other beverages in Burley, a big boost for area dairy farmers. And in Boise, Black Market Gelato is investing in production of gelatos and sorbets that it claims are “so good, hard to believe it’s legal.” Idaho also boasts such wins as a new, $850 million Meta data center in Kuna, an Equifax expansion in in Boise, and growth at the headquarters of Wild Rye in Ketchum, maker of women’s outdoor apparel.

Silver Shovels for the Runners-Up

States with Population 10+ Million

Continuing the high-level theme for this year’s honors, EV and battery projects are all over the Silver Shovel states, too, and tend to be among the biggest deals that brought Shovel honors.

Georgia landed one of the biggest, the Hyundai project in Ellabell, which is recognized as a Manufacturing Project of the Year. It’s a $5.5 billion plant that is expected to employ more than 8,000 people and turn out as many as 300,000 cars a year. But it’s not the only game of this kind for Georgia — Norway’s FREYR has a $2.6 billion battery plant in the works in Newnan that will employ about 700. This plant is slated for energy storage in general, not just for cars, but the company says it has gotten lots of interest from EV manufacturers.

In Silver Shovel winner Michigan, General Motors is spending $4 billion in Orion Township where it will build full-size EV pickups. Add to that the $2.5 billion Ultium Cells project in Lansing, the $1.7 billion LG Energy Solution project in Holland, the Magna Electric Vehicle Structures expansion in St. Clair, and the $1.6 billion Our Next Energy project in Novi (a Manufacturing Project of the Year), and that’s a whole lot of EV-related jobs in an automotive state.

Though there aren’t any deals related to EVs on the top projects list from Silver Shovel honoree Texas, there’s plenty of growth tied to semiconductors, resources, and petrochemicals. The community of Sherman’s economic future is ensured by the massive Texas Instruments $29 billion deal that will create 3,000 jobs, a Manufacturing Project of the Year, along with a $5 billion, 1,500-job GlobiTech expansion.

Concerns about the environment are accelerating the shift to electric transportation, and in 2022, that shift was a catalyst for huge projects across the country. A promising resources-related development is in Amarillo, where CVRM (Texas) Inc. is dropping $1.5 billion into critical mineral refining and planning to hire a thousand people in early phases, then more than double the payroll in future phases. Meanwhile, though the job counts are lower, the investments are also impressive in Gregory, Texas, where Cheniere Energy is spending $8 billion to expand its LNG plant, and in Beaumont, where OCI is spending a billion dollars on an ammonia plant.

Of course, the economies of these three Silver Shovel states, which large populations, are driven by much more than just EVs, chips, and chemicals. There’s food, for example. Jack Link’s will be hiring as many as 800 people to make beef jerky in Perry, Georgia. Tropicale Foods will be making the frozen treat known as paleta in Lubbock, Texas, with a plan to hire 500 people. Meanwhile, a Greece-based maker of natural snack foods, Unismack, is on the way to Kentwood, Michigan.

Then there are the thousand aerospace jobs on the way at Archer Aviation in Covington, Georgia, and 400 at Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing in Kerrville, Texas. Also, in Texas, TIAA plans 2,000 financial services jobs in Frisco, while CelLink Corp. has a similar number of electronics jobs on the way in Georgetown. And Norma Precision Ammunition is moving its U.S. headquarters, manufacturing, and distribution to Georgia, where it will create 600 jobs.

EVs and Lithium-Ion Battery Projects

Company City/County # Jobs Inv. Amt.
Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, LLCMontgomery, AL200$300 million
Mobis North America Electrified Powertrain, LLC Montgomery, AL 400$205.1 million
LG Energy SolutionQueen Creek, AZ1,500$1.4 billion
American Battery FactoryTucson, AZ1,000$1.2 billion
Hyundai Motor GroupEllabell, GA8,100$5.5 billion
FREYR BatteryNewnan, GA700$2.6 billion
Dieomatic Inc.Williamsburg, IA521$46 million
T/CCIDecatur, IL50$20 million
Starplus Energy LLCKokomo, IN1,400$2.7 billion
General Motors LLCMarion, IN0$453.9 million
Panasonic Corporation of AmericaDe Soto, KS4,000$4 billion
Envision AESC USBowling Green, KY2,000$2 billion
Ascend Elements, Inc.Hopkinsville, KY400$941 million
General Motors LLCOrion Township, MI2,300$4 billion
Ultium Cells LLCLansing, MI1,700$2.5 billion
LG Energy Solution Michigan, Inc.Holland, MI1,200$1.7 billion
Our Next Energy (ONE)Novi, MI2,112$1.6 billion
Magna Electric Vehicle StructuresSt. Clair, MI1,224$196.4 million
Piston AutomotiveWentzville, MO204$10 million
NissanCanton, MSN/A$500 million
VinFastMoncure, NC7,500$4 billion
Redwood Materials, Inc.Storey, NV701$1.1 billion
ElectrovayaElliott, NY250$75 million
GM ComponentsLockport, NY230$117 million
Li-CycleRochester, NY270$359.3 million
Hondal/LG Energy SolutionJefferson Township, Marysville, Anna, East Liberty, OH2,527$4.2 billion
Ford Motor CompanyAvon Lake, OH2,000$1.5 billion
SEMCORP Manufacturing USASidney, OH1,199$915 million
Crane Carrier CorporationNew Philadephia, OH434$15 million
Redwood MaterialsRidgeville, SC1,500$3.5 billion
BMW ManufacturingWoodruff, SC300$1.7 billion
Envision AESCFlorence, SC1,170$810 million
Kontrolmatik TechnologiesWalterboro, SC575$279 million
BMWGreer, SC200$200 million
Ultium Cells LLCSpring Hill, TN400$275 million
Duksan Electera America, Inc.Shelbyville, TN101$94.6 million
GreenPower Motor Co.Kanawha County, WV200$6.7 million

States with Population 6+ to 10 million
Three states with populations 6+ to 10 million earned Silver Shovel honors. They, too, will be adding lots of jobs related to EVs, batteries, and semiconductors. But just because we can, we’ll talk first about toys.

One of our Manufacturing Projects of the Year is the LEGO Group’s plan to spend a billion dollars and hire nearly 1,800 people in Silver Shovel winner Virginia, making the distinctive building toys that kids can’t get enough of. The company liked the nearly shovel-ready site with room to grow, and the fact that an Amazon fulfillment center will be a neighbor was very attractive.

Virginia’s Silver Shovel honor isn’t just fun and games, though. The state is tallying hundreds of new jobs in distribution, at World Class Distribution, Amazon, AutoZone, Lowe’s, and MS International. A DroneUp expansion will fly high in Virginia Beach, and Plenty Unlimited is spending $300 million to build the world’s largest vertical farm campus, where millions of pounds of strawberries will grow.

Three billion-dollar deals helped seal the Silver Shovel for Indiana. The biggest is the StarPlus Energy announcement of a $2.7 billion, 1,400 employee lithium-ion battery plant in Kokomo, which is recognized as a Manufacturing Project of the Year. The batteries will power vehicles made by Stellantis, the auto giant created by the 2021 merger of Fiat Chrysler and the PSA Group of France. Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. has expansion plans in the suburban community of Lebanon worth $2 billion or more, while SkyWater Technology is planning a $1.8 billion semiconductor R&D and manufacturing facility in West Lafayette, as a partnership involving the state and nearby Purdue University.

Numerous EV/battery and semiconductor projects helped Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio win Gold Shovel awards. Indiana enjoyed another semiconductor announcement, Nhanced Semiconductors in Odon, and another pharmaceutical deal, the Evonik expansion in Lafayette. Rolls-Royce is adding jobs at its Indianapolis aerospace engine facility, and Andretti Global is building a motorsports headquarters facility in suburban Fishers — all projects worth hundreds of millions in investment dollars each.

In Silver Shovel honoree Tennessee, EV batteries are creating the biggest headlines. Leading the way is the $3.2 billion LG Chem America cathode plant announced in Clarksville, where 860 people will manufacture a component for EV batteries — enough to power more than a million new cars a year. Piedmont Lithium is also planning to make a building block for EV batteries in Etowah (where it’s investing nearly $600 million) and so is Duksan Electera America in Shelbyville. And the Ultium Cells battery plant that Tennessee announced back in 2021 is already expanding and adding 400 jobs — it’s intended as a supplier for the General Motors Spring Hill assembly plant.

Jobs-wise, the biggest Tennessee announcement is the Franklin expansion of the Landmark Recovery business services/headquarters facility, where 1,300 new jobs are on the way for this drug and alcohol addiction treatment services firm. In the world of consumer products, hundreds of new Tennessee jobs are being created by 3M and Georgia-Pacific.

Semiconductor/Chips Projects

Company City/County # Jobs Inv. Amt.
TSMCPhoenix, AZ2,500$28 billion
KPCT Advanced ChemicalsCasa Grande, AZ65$200 million
Chang Chun ArizonaCasa Grande, AZ300$300 million
ASMLWilton, CT1,000$200 million
MicronBoise, ID2,000$15 billion
SkyWater Technology Foundry, Inc.West Lafayette, IN750$1.8 billion
Nhanced Semiconductors, Inc.Odon, IN413$355.6 million
Edwards VacuumAlabama, NY599$319 million
MicronClay, NY9,000$100 billion
WolfspeedSiler City, NC1,801$5 billion
Intel CorporationNew Albany, OH3,000$20 billion
USA Rare Earth LLCStillwater, OK100$100 million
GlobiTech, Global Wafers USASherman, TX1,500$5 billion
Texas InstrumentsSherman, TX3,000$29 billion

States with Population 4+ to 6 million
In Alabama, aluminum is one of the keys to Silver Shovel designation. Atlanta-based Novelis is building a $2.5 billion aluminum mill in Bay Minette, which made our Manufacturing Projects of the Year list and will lead to a thousand jobs after it opens in 2025. Watch for another thousand new jobs in Mobile, where Airbus is spending $700 million to add another final assembly line to boost production of the A320 passenger aircraft. Speaking of flying, United Launch Alliance is expanding in Decatur to accommodate a contract with Amazon to build three dozen rockets that will send Internet-delivering satellites into orbit.

The impact of climate change is also creating jobs in Alabama, as First Solar spends more than a billion dollars on a photovoltaic solar module manufacturing facility that will create about 700 clean energy jobs. Of course, the EV impact is felt here, too, through the expansion of the Hyundai plant in Montgomery and the launch of the Hyundai Mobis battery module plant nearby. Two separate beverage facilities are planned in the same part of the state, as well — Diageo and Manna Beverages & Ventures.

South Carolina earns a Silver Shovel with a host of projects tied one way or another into EVs and the auto sector in general. The biggest is one of the Manufacturing Projects of the Year, the $3.5 billion Redwood Materials battery operation creating 1,500 jobs. But that’s just the start. Envision AESC is investing $810 million in a state-of-the-art battery cell gigafactory that will employ 1,170, BMW is building a $200 million press shop in Greer, and Bosch will be producing fuel cells in Anderson that will drive hydrogen-powered trucks.

Another South Carolina project sparked by an interest in climate change is the Kontrolmatik Technologies project in Walterboro that will create more than 500 jobs. The facility will make lithium-ion batteries for energy storage systems that can pair up with renewable energy generation or serve as backup power during outages.

Lots of companies are expanding in Wisconsin, enough to warrant a Silver Shovel. Leading the way is a Non-Manufacturing Project of the Year, the Exact Sciences headquarters expansion in Madison that will add some 1,300 new jobs. The company makes Cologuard, the heavily marketed at-home colon cancer screening test, along with tests that doctors can use to individualize cancer treatment.

The state has a pair of expansions related to watercraft — yacht-maker KCS International and shipbuilder Fincantieri Marine Group. Plenty of new jobs are being fed by expansions in the food industry, too. Salm Partners makes sausages and hot dogs, McCain Foods processes appetizers, Masters Gallery Foods packages cheese, and Phelps Pet Products makes jerky treats for dogs.

States with Population 2+ to 4 Million
Food processing is also big business in Silver Shovel winner Arkansas. Tyson Foods is expanding in Bentonville, Hostess Brands in Arkadelphia, and together they’re adding a thousand jobs to the state’s economy. Distribution provides growing employment possibilities in Arkansas, too, including new operations from Tractor Supply, Dollar General, and Lowe’s that together will create nearly a thousand more jobs.

Other projects add to the diversity. Italy-based Fiocchi USA picked Little Rock for an ammunition primer facility that will supply the ammo manufacturing sector. Highbar LLC, a new operation focused on sustainable scrap metal recycling and steel production, will build a rebar steel mini-mill in northeast Arkansas worth a couple hundred jobs and more than $450 million in investment. AFCO Steel is expanding in Little Rock, and Lifeplus International is expanding its Batesville holistic well-being products operation.

The story in Silver Shovel honoree Connecticut is led by two $200 million projects. One involves General Dynamics Electric Boat, a submarine builder that’s the biggest employer in Connecticut and Rhode Island and is adding 1,500 jobs in Groton. The other is AMSL, a semiconductor equipment maker adding a thousand jobs in Wilton. A diverse list of projects bolsters the good-news story, including financial services jobs at Mirador and Apollo Global Management, aerospace jobs at Polamer Precision, distribution jobs at BJ’s Wholesale Club, and careers in biotech at Arvinas. Although EV and semiconductor projects seem to dominate this report, there’s no shortage of projects in the life sciences, food processing, logistics/distribution, and other industrial sectors.

To the south in Mississippi, a Manufacturing Project of the Year leads the way — the expansion of Steel Dynamics in Columbus. It’s a $2.5 billion deal promising a thousand new jobs. In Canton, Nissan Motors is spending $500 million to retool its assembly plant and upskill 2,000 jobs. Nissan and Infiniti EVs will start rolling off the line there in 2025. Sustainable wood bioenergy is fueling the $250 million investment that Enviva Inc. is making in the community of Bond, where 100 new employees will produce wood pellets. CLAW Forestry plans 131 jobs at its $200 million sawmill in Gloster. And there are several hundred new distribution jobs on the way, courtesy of Walmart, Baxter, and Standvast Fulfillment.

Another Non-Manufacturing Project of the Year helped Utah take home a Silver Shovel. LiveView Technologies is investing a third of a billion dollars at its Orem headquarters and plans to hire another 3,400 people. The company’s cloud platform gathers data from cameras aboard portable trailers, offering safety and security. The state’s growth is spread across multiple sectors, including some 800 new financial services jobs through expansion at Morgan Stanley, food processing jobs at Frulact and Blue Core Labs, biotech jobs at an expanding Cytiva, and energy storage manufacturing work at Jabil in Grantsville.

States with Population Under 2 Million
South Dakota is home to just under a million people, so it’s not surprising that most of its Silver Shovel projects are smaller. But they are just as vital to local economies. You can bet the Manitou Group expansion plans in Madison and Yankton will have quite an impact, with some 400 new jobs in heavy machinery. The 130 new jobs created through expansion of Valley Queen Cheese in Milbank are rather tasty, too, for those working directly in the plant as well as the dairy farmers expected to add 30,000 cows to their herds. And a new pet food production line at Royal Canin in North Sioux City will add another 150 jobs.

Nucor is adding a $3.7 billion steel mill with 800 jobs to the economy of Mason County, West Virginia, helping to earn that state a Silver Shovel. Precision Castparts plans a $500 million titanium melt facility that will run on renewable energy and supply aerospace and other industries, creating 200 jobs. CMC Metals plans a metals micro mill with another 235 jobs, GreenPower Motor Company is adding 200 jobs in the manufacture of electric school buses, and Mountaintop Beverage is brewing up nearly 300 beverage-making jobs in Monongalia County, representing a $280 million investment.

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