Gov. Nixon today announced that Area Development magazine has named Missouri as one of only five states to receive a Gold Shovel award, recognizing the Show-Me State as a top state to attract high-value investment projects. Additionally, Cerner Corporation’s multi-billion dollar expansion in Kansas City is recognized as Area Development magazine’s Economic Development Project of the Year.
“From my very first day in office, I’ve focused on creating good jobs and growing our economy, so it is great to see the Show-Me State’s success continue to earn national recognition,” said Gov. Nixon. “This award is proof positive that with a highly-skilled workforce and favorable tax climate, Missouri has become a national leader in attracting the high-growth high-tech industries of the future.”
Last year, more than 125 companies announced expansions in Missouri and the state added nearly 44,000 jobs, resulting in a higher rate of employment growth than all of its surrounding states. Area Development cited Missouri’s favorable tax structure as a top reason for its growing jobs numbers. The magazine also noted Missouri’s strengths across diverse industry sectors including automotive, bioscience, information technology, energy, advanced manufacturing, life science, and transportation logistics.
This news follows Missouri’s recognition last month by Site Selection Magazine for ranking first in its region for attracting or expanding businesses.
Last August, Cerner Corporation announced plans to invest more than $4 billion to expand its Missouri campus, adding 15,000 new jobs. This monumental expansion is lauded as the largest economic development in project in state history and according to Southern Business & Development magazine, it is the largest expansion in the South’s history when it comes to jobs.
The Shovel Awards are given annually to recognize state economic development agencies that spur significant job creation and capital investments. Area Development selects the award winners based off each state’s top ten largest economic development projects. Projects are evaluated based on the number of high-value added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities, and industry diversity of the 10 submitted projects. Gold Shovel Awards are given to the top state in each of four population categories. Missouri received the Golden Shovel award in the 5 to 8 million population category. Silver Shovel Awards are given to runners up in each category.
This is the first time Missouri has received the Golden Shovel Award from Area Development. The state received Silver Shovel Awards in 2007 and 2012.
More information about the award and a full listing of winners is available here.