Wednesday, August 20, 2014 · 12:35 p.m.

Tennessee wins area development's Gold Shovel Award

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Tennessee has once again ranked among the best in economic development by Area Development magazine, a leading executive publication covering corporate site selection and facility planning.

The Volunteer State, along with Texas, South Carolina and Utah, were named the winners of the magazine’s 2012 Gold Shovel Awards, presented annually to states that have achieved significant success in terms of job creation and economic impact. Tennessee received a Gold Shovel Award in 2009 and Silver Shovel Awards in 2006, 2010 and 2011.

Tennessee is also recognized by Area Development as a 2011 Economic Development Project of the Year for the $235 million General Motors project in Spring Hill that is expected to create 2,350 jobs.

“This award speaks volumes to Gov. Haslam’s leadership and direction for our department,” Bill Hagerty, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, said.  “In 2011, we had the second-best year of job creation on record, topped only by 2007, at the height of the bubble.  We substantially reorganized the department and had more staff on the ground recruiting than ever before.  In receiving awards like the Gold Shovel, it shows our new economic development plan is yielding industry-leading results.”

Area Development's annual Gold and Silver Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers and investments in new and expanded facilities. Only economic development projects initiated in 2011 were considered for the award.  Tennessee received the Gold Shovel Award in the 5 to 9 million population category.

"As the economy slowly recovers, communities are going to great lengths to attract new businesses and to help their existing corporate citizens to expand their business," Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development, said. “The states receiving 2012 Shovel Awards deserve special recognition for their efforts.”

A full review of this year’s Gold and Silver Shovel Award winners will be published in the summer issue of Area Development and is posted online.

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