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2007 Silver Shovel Awards Under 3 Million Population

Jun/Jul 07
For the second consecutive year, Kansas has received Area Development's Silver Shovel Award for excellence in job creation and business investment.

"To be awarded a Silver Shovel for two straight years is quite an accomplishment," says Kansas Department of Commerce Secretary David Kerr. "We have obviously found a successful formula for attracting and retaining businesses that create new jobs and grow the state's economy."

A good example is Quintiles' $55 million, 236,000-square-foot building in Overland Park. Some 650 new employees will occupy the facility, with 300 more being added over the next few years. The company received $6.5 million in local and state incentives for the project.

European-based OncImmune, a life sciences company, is locating its North American headquarters and commercial lab in Lenexa, creating 120 new jobs. It also will invest $30 million into area lab operations. After evaluating possible sites for almost a year, the company's site selection team chose the Kansas City area because of its rich cluster of assets and opportunities for research collaboration.

Nebraska is the headquarters for five Fortune 500 companies: Berkshire Hathaway, ConAgra Foods, Mutual of Omaha, Peter Kiewit Sons, and Union Pacific Railroad. Targeted growth industries include transportation and warehousing, food processing, bioscience, energy, and information services. New projects include Cargill Inc.'s $320 million ethanol plant in Blair, which will produce up to110 million gallons of ethanol per year, making Cargill the nation's second-largest ethanol producer.

Additionally, Verizon Wireless is investing approximately $30 million to build a 113,000-square-foot customer-service center at the University of Nebraska Technology Park in Lincoln, creating about 800 new jobs. The center will provide support for calls from the 15-state Midwest region that the company services.

Utah's state government is very supportive of cluster growth in high-tech industries such as life sciences, aerospace, energy, and IT. Coupled with the state's lower-than-average costs of doing business, these factors have resulted in several expansions and relocations.

Denver-based Qwest Communications is opening a new $25 million call center in north Logan and hiring 600 workers to service its 14-state service territory. The new center brings the total number of Qwest employees in Utah to 3,000.

And Cephalon, a pharmaceuticals company, is spending $100 million to expand its facilities in Salt Lake City, creating 365 jobs. The extra room is needed to accommodate increased demand for its products. The facility will also have the largest controlled-substances vault west of the Mississippi River.

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