Area Development
Site & Facility Planning Insider
2019 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards Recognize State Economic Development Successes
This year Area Development recognizes 20 states with its Gold & Silver Shovel awards. Six states in five population categories — Texas, Georgia, Virginia, Arizona, Alabama, and Mississippi — are being awarded Gold Shovels in recognition of projects undertaken in 2018 creating a significant number of high-value-added jobs as well as large capital investments. Silver Shovels are being awarded to 14 other states: Florida, Illinois, New York (12+ million); Michigan, North Carolina (8+ to 12 million); Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee (5+ to 8 million); Kentucky, Nevada, Utah (3+ to 5 million population); and Kansas, Nebraska, Rhode Island (3 million or fewer population).

Our Annual Shovel awards recognize state and local economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, and other processes that attract new employers as well as investments in expanded facilities. The Gold and Silver Shovel awards are presented annually to the states that have achieved the most success in terms of new job creation and company investment. Only those projects that began to materialize in 2018 were considered. States are compared only to others in their population tier, and the Shovel Awards are given to the states with the highest weighted scores based on the number of high-valued added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities, and industry diversity.

Additionally, five projects are distinguished as “Projects of the Year” for their job creation and investment numbers: Regeneron (NY), Nikola (AZ), Micron Technology (VA), Mazda/Toyota (AL), and Electric Boat (RI).

2019 Gold and Silver Shovel Award Recipients Garnered Large Job-Creating and Investment Projects in Diverse Industries

While e-commerce was creating thousands of jobs across the nation last year, high-profile, diverse projects in the manufacturing, information technology, financial services, energy, and other sectors were also making news.

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2019 Gold & Silver Shovel Projects of the Year

Life Sciences Company Regeneron Expanding in New York State

Regeneron’s $800 million, 1,500-employee expansion will fuel growth in the Capital Regions as well as lifesaving innovation.

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Project of the Year, Electric Boat Corp. to Expand Submarine Production in Rhode Island

The 1,300-job project will allow the company to annually produce three Virginia-class submarines.

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Alabama Adds Mazda/Toyota Manufacturing USA to Its Auto Roster

The $1.6 billion joint-venture Huntsville plant will create some 4,000 jobs.

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Micron Technology Expanding Chip-Making in Virginia

In response to increased demand for its computer chips, which are used in today’s advanced-tech vehicles, Micron is expanding in Manassas at a cost of $3 billion.

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Nikola Motor Corp. to Build Hydrogen-Electric Trucks in Arizona

The $1 billion Nikola assembly plant is helping to build Arizona’s future in the creation of new-technology vehicles.

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