Wisconsin recognized with Gold Shovel Award

Wisconsin’s largest economic development projects were recently recognized in the national publication Area Development with a “Gold Shovel Award.”

The state received the magazine’s “Silver Shovel Award” back in 2016. This time around, Wisconsin was one of five states to receive the gold-level award for economic benefits associated with development projects undertaken in 2017.

“In terms of jobs created, few single projects in history can match the 13,000 promised by the electronics manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group, which in July 2017 announced plans to make LCD screens at a greenfield site in southeastern Wisconsin,” the magazine wrote. “It’s a hefty job count, and an impressive investment in dollars, too — $10 billion.”

Last year saw record numbers for economic development in the state, as 59 companies agreed to move to or expand in Wisconsin. According to a release from Gov. Scott Walker, these projects are expected to create or retain nearly 30,000 jobs in total and lead to over $11.6 billion in capital investment in the state.

Walker says the award highlights the state’s “pro-business climate and dedicated workforce.”

“We are proud Wisconsin is being recognized once again as a leader for economic development and job creation,” he said in a statement.

Aside from Foxconn, the publication also gives a nod to some of last year’s other major deals: Haribo’s $220 million investment in Pleasant Prairie, with 385 expected jobs; Kwik Trip’s $139 million expansion in La Crosse, 300 jobs; and Generac Power Systems’ $73 million Waukesha investment, expected to create 400 jobs.

The Golden Shovel awards are split up into categories by state population. Wisconsin was the winner in the 5 million to 8 million category; Texas was the winner in the 12 million or more category; North Carolina, 8 million to 12 million; Kentucky, 3 million to 5 million; and Nevada, less than 3 million.

Though Foxconn was far and away the biggest economic development project of last year in terms of projected job increases, Area Development lists several other projects from Amazon that are each promising more than 1,000 new jobs.

Amazon plans to create 2,700 jobs in Kentucky, over 4,000 at two New York Sites, 2,000 in Ohio, and “several other projects” around the country with job counts between 1,000 and 2,000, the publication said.

Foxconn’s $10 billion investment pledge tied for the biggest last year, alongside the ExxonMobil SABIC project in Texas.

See more on the award winner states: http://www.areadevelopment.com/gold-shovel-econdev-awards/q2-2018/states-efforts-attract-investments-job-creating-projects.shtml