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

JERICHO, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Area Development, the leading publication covering site selection and facility planning, recognizes 18 states with its Annual 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, Virginia, Arizona, Kentucky, and Kansas — are being awarded Gold Shovels in overall recognition of job-creating/investment projects begun in 2021. And, in recognition of the fact that two states — North Carolina and Tennessee — went beyond the Gold Shovel standard, they are being recognized for their achievements with our new Platinum Shovel awards.

As the nation made a swift post-pandemic economic recovery in 2021, our Shovel Awards recognize the states and local economic development agencies that garnered large job-creating and investment projects through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, and other processes that attracted 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 2021 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 company investment, and industry diversity.

Silver Shovels for their achievements are being awarded to 11 states: Florida (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 population); and Idaho, Nebraska, and Mississippi (3 million or fewer population).

Ten projects are distinguished as “Manufacturing Projects of the Year” for their job creation and investment numbers: J.M. Smucker (AL), Intel (AZ), U.S. 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 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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