Area Development’s 17th Annual Shovel Awards Recognize State and Local Economic Development Efforts – First Two Platinum Shovels Awarded


JERICHO, NY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Area Development, the leading publication covering site selection and facility planning, honors 18 states with its Annual Shovel Awards, which are given each year to the states that have achieved the most success in terms of job creation and capital investment of business. States in five population categories – Texas, Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky and Kansas – are awarded Gold Scoops in overall recognition of job creation/investment projects launched in 2021. And, in recognition that two states – North Carolina and Tennessee – have gone above and beyond the Gold Shovel standard, they are being recognized for their achievements with our new Platinum Shovel Awards.

As the nation experienced a rapid post-pandemic economic recovery in 2021, our Shovel Awards recognize states and local economic development agencies that have generated great job creation and investment projects through innovative policies, improvements in infrastructure and other processes that have also attracted new employers. than investments in expanded facilities.

Each of the 50 states was invited by Area development to submit information on its top 10 job creation and investment projects. Only projects that began to materialize in 2021 were considered. The Shovel Awards are given to states with the highest weighted scores based on number of high-value jobs per capita, amount of company investment, and industry diversity.

Silver scoops for achievement are awarded to 11 states: Florida (over 12 million); Georgia and Ohio (8+ to 12 million); Alabama, Indiana and South Carolina (5+ to 8 million); Arkansas and Louisiana (3+ to 5 million people); and Idaho, Nebraska, and Mississippi (population 3 million or less).

Ten projects are distinguished as “Manufacturing Projects of the Year” for their number of job creations and investments: JM Smucker (AL), Intel (AZ), US Steel (AR), Ford/SK Innovation (KY ), Regeneron (NY), Toyota (NC), Canoo (OK), Ford Motor (TN), Samung (TX) and Blue Star (VA). Four projects are recognized as “Non-Manufacturing Projects of the Year” – Fiserv (NJ), Apple (NC), Oracle America (TN) and CoStar (VA).

A report on the 2022 Shovel Award winners is published in the Q2 2022 issue of Area development and published online at

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