JACKSON — Area Development magazine has unveiled the recipients of the 2014 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards.
This year, five states — Texas, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, and Utah — are being awarded Gold Shovels in recognition of projects undertaken in 2013 creating a significant number of high-value-added new jobs as well as investment. Silver Shovels are being awarded to 15 other states in five population categories.
The 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 Gold and Silver Shovel Awards, states are compared only to others in their population tier. This year, Silver Shovels are being awarded to Florida and New York (15+ million population); New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania (8+ to 15 million population); Arizona, Indiana, and Tennessee (5+ to 8 million population); Alabama, Kentucky, and Louisiana (3+ to 5 million population); and Arkansas, Kansas, and Mississippi (3 million or fewer population).
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 2013 were considered. The Shovel Awards are given to the states with the highest weighted scores based on number of high-valued added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities, and industry diversity.