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Area Development’s 16th Annual Gold & Silver Shovel Awards Recognize 2020 State and Local Economic Development Efforts

Area Development’s 16th Annual Gold & Silver Shovel Awards Recognize 2020 State and Local Economic Development Efforts

  • Updated

JERICHO, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--#ShovelAwards--Area Development, the leading publication covering site selection and facility planning, recognizes 20 states with its Gold & Silver Shovel awards, which are presented annually to the states that have achieved the most success in terms of new job creation and company capital investment. States in five population categories — Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, Utah, and Kansas — are being awarded Gold Shovels in overall recognition of job-creating/investment projects begun in 2020. Gold Shovels for their manufacturing achievements, in particular, are being awarded to Alabama, Indiana, and Michigan. Silver Shovels are being awarded to 12 other states.

While 2020’s COVID-19 crisis put many projects on “pause,” our Annual Shovel awards recognize the states and local economic development agencies that still managed to garner large job-creating and investment projects despite this unprecedented crisis through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, and other processes that attract new employers as well as investments in expanded facilities.

Each of the 50 states was invited by Area Development to submit information about its top-10 job creation and investment projects. Only those projects that began to materialize in 2020 were considered. 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.

States are compared only to others in their population tier. This year, Silver Shovels are being awarded to Florida (12+ million); Georgia, Ohio, and Virginia (8+ to 12 million); Missouri, South Carolina, and Tennessee (5+ to 8 million); Arkansas, Connecticut, and Louisiana (3+ to 5 million population); and Idaho and Mississippi (3 million or fewer population).

Six projects are distinguished as “Manufacturing Projects of the Year” for their job creation and investment numbers: Tesla (TX), CREE Wolfspeed (NY), Ultium Cells (OH), Taiwan Semiconductor (AZ), Gröns (LA), and Northrop Grumman (UT). Five projects are recognized as “Non-Manufacturing Projects of the Year”: Centene (NC), Microsoft (GA), Microsoft (VA), Accenture (MO), and Netflix (NM).

A report on the 2021 Shovel Award winners is published in the Q2/2021 issue of Area Development and posted online at

Area Development is published quarterly and also maintains several highly visited websites, which can be reached through


Area Development Magazine

Gerri Gambale, Editor, 516-338-0900 Ext. 211

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