BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Area Development magazine awarded Louisiana a 2018 Silver Shovel Award for posting one of the best economic development performances in the U.S. during the past year, based on the state’s most significant economic investments. The 2018 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards honor states with the most significant impact from 10 leading investment and job creation projects during 2017.
This is the eighth time in nine years that Louisiana has won Area Development’s Silver Shovel Award, following previous awards in 2010 through 2016. The magazine evaluates states, giving weighted scores for jobs per capita, the amount of investment, the number of new facilities, and industry diversity. Louisiana’s projects included DXC Technology’s 2,000-job Digital Transformation Center in New Orleans and two industry announcements with large capital investment components – Lotte Chemical’s $1.13 billion plant expansion and headquarters relocation in Lake Charles and Wanhua Chemical’s selection of Louisiana for a $1.12 billion chemical complex.
Other Louisiana projects include Boeing’s expansion at Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans; Champion Homes’ manufactured home facility in Leesville; DHL and Graphic Packaging’s logistics center and plant expansion in Ouachita Parish; WestRock’s expansion in Hodge; Energy World Corp.’s liquefied natural gas production and export facility at Port Fourchon; PCS Nitrogen Fertilizer’s new project in Ascension Parish; and Select Comfort’s technical support contact center at Elmwood in Jefferson Parish. Projects submitted by Louisiana represent more than $3.9 billion in capital investment and 3,074 new direct jobs.
“Louisiana remains a great place for doing business, and industries across many different sectors continue to make major investments here,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “The confidence that business and industry have in our state indicates the value that they place in our highly skilled workforce. We appreciate this recognition by Area Development with a Silver Shovel Award for the eighth time in nine years, and we will continue to attract the projects and create the jobs that keep our economy moving forward.”
Louisiana’s economic development projects merited a 2018 Silver Shovel Award in the category for states of 3 million to 5 million people, an honor it shared with Alabama and Utah.
Area Development collected information from all 50 states on their top job creation and investment projects. The 2018 Shovel Awards reflect major projects that broke ground, began hiring or invested money in 2017. The 2018 Silver Shovel Award joins other economic development honors and recognition for the state:Louisiana ranked No. 1 in Southern Business and Developmentmagazine’s ranking of Southern states for attracting the most significant capital investment and job-creation projects per capita. Area Development magazine ranked Louisiana as a Top 5 state for doing business for the second year in a row in 2017. Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana’s business climate No. 10 in the U.S., the state’s eighth consecutive year in the Top 10. Business Facilities magazine ranked LED FastStart® the No. 1 state workforce development program for the eighth straight year. Business Facilities also ranked Louisiana as the No. 1 state in the nation for Cybersecurity Growth Potential.