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2007 Silver Shovel Awards Over 10 Million Population

Jun/Jul 07
Michigan - a two-time Silver Shovel recipient - continues to be anchored by automotive manufacturing and research and development. Toyota's new $150 million Technical Center in Ann Arbor, an R&D and crash-test facility, is expected to be fully operational by next summer. About 200 of the 400 workers needed to staff the new building have already been hired.

Michigan's reputation for technological innovation goes well beyond the automotive industry, attracting a wide range of high-tech companies, especially pharmaceuticals and biomedical. Over 300 life sciences companies are based in Michigan. One of these, Emergent BioSolutions, is building a $72 million, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Lansing. The project will allow Emergent to maximize its production of BioThrax®, the only FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of anthrax.

With a central East Coast location and strong manufacturing, distribution, and technology sectors, Pennsylvania is an attractive location for many businesses. Six major U.S. markets are within a 500-mile radius of its capital, Harrisburg.

REI, an outdoor equipment supplier, is building a $30 million distribution center in Bedford. The 400,000-square-foot facility will be located in Bedford County Business Park and employ more than 300 people.

"Local, county, and state officials responded very positively to REI locating in Bedford, which has a proven infrastructure for distribution facilities and great proximity to our East Coast retail locations," said REI Vice President Dave Presley.

Nestle Waters' new bottled water facility will bring the company's Lehigh Valley employment to 500. And Advanced Communications, a private printing company, is locating its $28 million, 500,000-square-foot Capital View Commerce Center in Harrisburg on a remediated brownfield site. Initially, 120 people will be employed at the facility.

As it did last year, Texas received a Silver Shovel award. Moreover, for the fifth year in a row, WISERTrade ranked Texas as the top state in terms of export revenues, with exports totaling $150.8 billion in 2006, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division. All major business sectors added workers at a faster pace than the rest of the country did in 2006 - especially manufacturing - according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Texas has long been known as an international leader in electronics manufacturing. Therefore, it's no surprise that Samsung, one of the world's leading high-tech corporations, will build a $3.5 billion semiconductor facility in Manor (about 300 miles northeast of Austin), creating about 900 jobs with a payroll that could top $50 million. A $10.8 million grant from the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) helped close the deal.

As the main flow-through state for Mexico trade, Texas is an ideal location for warehousing and distribution facilities. Cardone Industries, a Philadelphia-based auto parts manufacturer, is investing $7.5 million in a logistics and light manufacturing facility in Harlingen, resulting in 500 new jobs. "This is going to be very good for the community and the workers because of the salary levels, health benefits, and 401(k)s that come with the jobs," says Marie McDermott, president of the Harlingen Chamber of Commerce.

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