Area Development Recognizes States and Metro Areas for Economic Development Achievements in Two Recently Released Reports

June 20, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Area Development, the leading publication covering site selection and facility planning for business, has announced the winners of the 2011 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards, recognizing states for achievements in attracting investment that creates a significant number of high-value-added new jobs regionally. Additionally, we have recently published a report, "100 Leading Locations", that ranks metro areas based on their performance across 13 highly regarded industry reports and studies.

Gold Shovel Awards (
This year, three states - Indiana, Michigan, and South Carolina - were awarded Gold Shovels in recognition of projects undertaken in 2010 creating a significant number of high-value-added new jobs as well as investment. Silver Shovels were awarded to nine other states in three population categories.

Our Annual Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers as well as investments in expanded facilities. The Gold Shovels are presented annually to the states that have achieved the most success in terms of new job creation and economic impact.

For the Silver Shovel Awards, the states were compared only to other states in their population tier. This year, Texas, North Carolina, and Georgia received Silver Shovels in the 9+ million population group; Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee were awarded Silver Shovels in the 4 to 9 million population category; and Kansas and Mississippi were honored in the fewer than 4 million population group.

100 Leading Locations: Desirable Locations for Doing Business (
Smaller regional and metro areas are emerging from amongst the field of usual big-city suspects as desirable locations for companies of all sizes. Our list brings these locations to light by showing how they stack up to the rest of the field when considering 14 highly regarded surveys.

We based our findings on 13 highly regarded location surveys from sources including Forbes, Newgeography, Brookings Metro Monitor, Fast Company, and CNNMoney. We used the findings of the Milken Institute's Best Performing Cities 2010 as the primary criterion. Each of the 100 Leading Locations on our list must appear within the top 100 rankings for large and small cities on Milken's report.