Area Development’s 18th Annual Shovel Awards Recognize State and Local Economic Development Efforts — EV and Semiconductor Projects Stand Out

JERICHO, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#AreaDevelopmentArea Development, the leading publication covering site selection and facility planning, recognizes 21 states with its Annual Shovel Awards, which are presented each year to the states that have achieved the most success in terms of new job creation and company capital investment. States in five population categories — Ohio, Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas, and Idaho — are being awarded Gold Shovels in overall recognition of job-creating/investment projects begun in 2022. And, in recognition of the fact that one state — North Carolina — went beyond the Gold Shovel standard, it is being recognized for its achievements with our second annual Platinum Shovel award.

As the pandemic began to recede, our Shovel Awards recognize the states and local economic development agencies that moved forward in 2022 with 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. With concerns about climate change now supplanting pandemic fears, projects to produce EVs — and the semiconductors used by vehicles and other high-tech goods — came to the forefront in this year’s Shovel Awards report.

Each of the 50 states was invited by Area Development to submit information about its top job-creating and investment projects, and only those projects that began to materialize in 2022 were considered. The Shovel Awards were 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 were awarded to 15 states in five population categories: Georgia, Michigan, and Texas (10+ million); Indiana, Tennessee, and Virginia (6+ to 10 million); Alabama, South Carolina, Wisconsin (4+ to 6 million); Arkansas, Connecticut, Mississippi, and Utah (2+ to 4 million); and South Dakota and West Virginia (2 million or fewer population). Also, 15 projects are distinguished as “Manufacturing Projects of the Year” and five as “Non-Manufacturing Projects of the Year” for their job creation and investment numbers.

A report on the 2023 Shovel Award winners is published in the Q2/2023 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