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Top States for Doing Business: Labor and Work Force Development

Area Development magazine asked a selected group of highly respected industry consultants to respond to a "flash survey" on their picks for the best states for business. The respondents considered eight site selection criteria: business costs, business friendliness, corporate taxes, overall labor climate, work force development programs, fast-track permitting, rail and highway accessibility, and shovel-ready sites.

September 2010

Top States for Business: Labor and Work Force Development (1/8)

A business is only as strong as its work force, and the southern states proved to Area Development's surveyed consultants that their labor development was tops. It's no wonder that Georgia took the number one spot because of its Quick Start program, which has been providing customized work force training, free-of-charge, to qualified businesses for more than four decades. The Carolinas, Alabama, and Tennessee were also recognized for their outstanding development of labor.

Next: Labor and Work Force Development

Labor and Work Force Development (2/8)

Georgia's strong Quick Start and Work Ready programs put it at the top of the surveyed consultants' list, along with North Carolina.

Next: Georgia

Georgia (3/8)

Taking Quick Start a step further, Governor Sonny Perdue and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce founded Georgia Work Ready in August 2006. The program - the only one in the country to unite a state government and chamber of commerce - helps companies match available positions with the best workers. Now companies from Alcoa Architectural Products to YKK-AP America are working with Georgia Work Ready.

Next: North Carolina

North Carolina (4/8)

The quality of North Carolina's work force has been a boon to state business. Magna Composites, a Canadian auto part maker, created 327 jobs this year in its three in-state facilities. Local company Clearwater Paper added 250 employees to its work force. And Daimler Trucks called 540 of its North Carolina employees back to work.

Next: South Carolina

South Carolina (5/8)

Just to the south, South Carolina proved the abilities of its work force with some impressive expansions. Boeing plans to make a major investment in the state's labor pool by hiring 4,000 South Carolinians at a new 1.2 million-square-foot facility. Its workers are even attracting international attention. Germany's ZF Group announced the creation of 900 jobs in the state this year.

Next: Alabama

Alabama (6/8)

Alabama's Industrial Development Training (AIDT) is also renowned, and the state's work force brought it increased investment over the past year. GE Aviation selected the state as the place to hire up to 400 people to work on military aircraft coatings. Foreign investors are also snapping up local employees Korea's Hyundai Heavy Industries announced the creation of 480 jobs at its first U.S. facility in the state.

Next: Tennessee

Tennessee (7/8)

With its vibrant work force, Tennessee's employees have kept new businesses coming - and existing ones expanding. Comdata, Whirlpool, and IB-Tech all created jobs in the state, with Comdata adding 120 jobs and IB-Tech bringing another 385.

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