• 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: Kansas and Nevada Awarded Silver Shovels - States with Populations Less than 3 Million

Q2 2017

KansasKansas has been a lightning rod for ideological conversation, with sharply differing opinions about the growth policies it has pursued in recent years. But even as politicians and pundits have debated the merits or pitfalls of its economic policies, the state’s aviation and distribution sectors have continued to put marks in the “win” column.

2016 Top Projects: Kansas*

Population: 2.90 Million

Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Triumph Structures Edgerton N 310 $39.3 million Aerospace
2. TECT Hypervelocity, Inc.Park City E 470 $23.8 million Aerospace
3. Edgerton N 2,000 $292.6 million Fulfillment
& Kansas City Centers
4. Essence of AustraliaOverland Park E 159 $22.4 million Logistics/
5. SelectQuote InsuranceOverland Park E 476 $14.4 million Insurance/
Contact Center
6. XceligentOverland ParkN 104 $2.8 million Contact Center
7. American Multi-Cinema, Inc.Leawood N 220 $19 million Regional Offices
8. Atlas Aerospace, LLCWichita E 104 $17.5 million Aircraft Parts
9. United Parcel Service, Inc.Lenexa E 100 $37 millionLogistics/
10. Futamura USA Inc. TecumsehN 200 $30 million Cellulosic
Organic Fiber
*Represents a state/local sponsor

As in many states, some of the biggest gains have been promised by Amazon. In the case of Kansas, announced projects in Edgerton and Kansas City promise nearly $300 million in investments and a couple thousand jobs. But the state’s central location and strong logistics infrastructure caught the eye of others, too, continuing a positive trend in distribution and fueling hundreds of new jobs.

The state’s aerospace sector added jobs in its Wichita hub and in nearby Park City, while Triumph Group announced plans to move aircraft-related operations from Missouri to the Kansas community of Edgerton. Meanwhile, the contact center sector, which helped Kansas earn recognition two years ago, garnered a pair of bright headlines for Overland Park, SelectQuote Insurance and Xceligent. SelectQuote has been continually building its Kansas workforce and has outgrown its headquarters facility in Leawood. Company officials said they chose expansion space in the millennial-focused Overland Park Xchange because of its “wow environment.”

NevadaIn a state best known for tourism, Amazon also had Nevada’s biggest single job-creating project of 2016, with an $18 million fulfillment center in North Las Vegas that promises a thousand jobs. The company and its affiliates already employ roughly 5,000 at other Nevada facilities in such places as Las Vegas and Reno, and the new center will focus on the distribution of mid-sized products.

2016 Top Projects: Nevada*

Population: 2.84 Million

Company City N/E Job Creation Investment Industry
1. Amazon North Las Vegas N 1,000 $18 million Fulfillment Center
2. The Honest Company North Las Vegas N 455 $9.4 million Distribution
3. Mary’s Gone Crackers Reno N 365 $19.1 million Food Products
4. Hyperloop One North Las Vegas N 119 $121.6 million Propulsion Systems/Tools
5. Pacific Dental Services Henderson N 320 $1.8 million Back Office/IT
6. Fanatics, Inc. North Las Vegas N 374 $8 million Distribution
7. Thrive Market, Inc. Sparks N 400 $3.6 million Distribution
8. CML Media Corp. Clark County N 524 $496,300 IT
9. Sutherland Global Services Las Vegas E 763 $4.8 million Back Office
10. TH Foods, Inc. Henderson E 138 $23.3 million Food Products
*Represents a state/local sponsor

Of course, what makes Nevada so attractive to Amazon also gets the attention of a lot of others in the business of logistics and distribution, and those others also helped make the state an economic success story in 2016. Three other distribution projects in North Las Vegas (The Honest Company and Fanatics, Inc.) and Sparks (Thrive Market, Inc.) are expected to deliver more than 1,200 jobs combined.

Nevada economists say business and professional services will be a key to the future, and in 2016, information technology and back office operations provided economic bright spots. Announcements in this area serve a variety of industries. CML Media, for example, is in the business of mobile-responsive websites for clients, and it plans to create more than 500 jobs in Clark County. Pacific Dental Services, meanwhile, which announced plans for more than 300 jobs in Henderson, handles support operations for dental practices. Food products developments also added flavor to the state’s economy in 2016, with the two biggest projects (Mary’s Gone Crackers and TH Foods, Inc.) promising about 500 jobs.

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