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Texas, Nebraska Win Site Selection Magazine’s Governor’s Cup Awards

Top Metro and Micropolitan Areas for Corporate Facility Investment Also Named

March 3, 2017  (ANGOLA, IN)      Atlanta, March 1, 2017: Texas and Nebraska have won the 2016 Site Selection Governor's Cups. This is the fourth year Site Selection recognizes the state with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita, which Nebraska claims for its capital investment activity in 2016. Texas wins for having the most qualified projects of any state.

The 63-year-old Atlanta-based magazine has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988, based on new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the proprietary Conway Projects Database. Site Selection, published by Conway Inc., is the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development fields and is the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC, at www.iamc.org). Site Selection's yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as "the industry scoreboard." The magazine's circulation base consists of 48,000 subscribers, most of whom are involved in corporate site selection decisions at the CEO/President/COO level.

The Lone Star State's 642-project finish for 2016 is down from its 701-project, first place finish last year but is comfortably ahead of the runners-up in the traditional Governor’s Cup facilities race: Ohio is second with 515, followed by Illinois (434), North Carolina (289) and Georgia (271). In the per capita (per 1 million population) contest, Nebraska’s 101 projects allowed it to claim the Governor’s Cup over defending champ Kentucky, which finished second with 231 projects. In addition to placing highly in the traditional rankings, Ohio’s 515 projects gave it a third-place finish in the per capita race. Louisiana (169) placed fourth, while 434 projects earned fifth place for Illinois.

“Texas and Nebraska last shared this recognition in 2013, when the Governor’s Cup for per capita projects was introduced,” says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection. “Different governors were in office at the time, but Governors Abbott of Texas and Ricketts of Nebraska share their predecessors’ drive to make their states the best-in-class locations for capital investment. They and their economic development teams understand how to help businesses succeed, and the projects associated with the 2016 Governor’s Cups are evidence of that.”

Now that Nebraska has reclaimed the Governor’s Cup for projects per capita, Gov. Pete Ricketts won’t relinquish it easily. Ricketts says he wants to make Nebraska a low-cost state in which to do business. “My goal,” says Ricketts, “is to do tax relief every year I’m governor.”

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who claims his fourth Governor’s Cup for total qualified projects, says CEOs he speaks with are bullish on the talent they find in the Lone Star State. “I ask them, ‘Why Texas?’ ” Abbott tells Site Selection. “Almost to a person they say the key reason is the quality of our workforce.”

Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database focuses on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations and logistics sites, among others. It does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: (a) involve a capital investment of at least US$1 million, (b) create at least 20 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858 sq. m.) of new floor area.

The March 2017 issue of Site Selection also features state rankings by region. For 2016, the regional leaders according to the traditional, total new projects measure are Pennsylvania (Northeast); Ohio (East North Central); Missouri (West North Central); North Carolina (South Atlantic); Texas (South Central); Arizona (Mountain); and California (Pacific). Per capita regional leaders are Rhode Island (Northeast); Ohio (East North Central); Nebraska (West North Central); North Carolina (South Atlantic); Kentucky (South Central); Nevada (Mountain) and Oregon (Pacific).

Top Metros and Micros

The Top Metros for new and expanded corporate facilities for 2016 were led by Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin, among metro areas with populations over 1 million and Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebraska-Iowa, among areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million. Sioux City, Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota, was first among areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000. Full lists of the Top 10 Metros in each population category appear below.

In the magazine's ranking of Top Micropolitans — cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county — Findlay, Ohio, was tops among the nation's 575 micropolitan areas, followed by Cullman, Alabama; Wooster, Ohio; Shelby, North Carolina; and a tie between Tupelo, Mississippi, and Batavia, New York. Ohio once again led as the state with most Top Micropolitans (18).

Big Muddy Cup

Greater Burlington, Iowa-Ill., is the recipient of the Big Muddy Cup, recognizing the top metro area along the entire length of the Mississippi River for private-sector facility projects per capita.

Jason Hutcheson, president and CEO of the Greater Burlington Partnership, says robust economic expansion requires across-the-board focus. “Often I think we look for what one thing a community has done. But there isn’t one thing. You have to do lots of things simultaneously.”

Ranking behind Burlington were Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Dyersburg, Tennessee; Muscatine, Iowa; and Blytheville, Arkansas. A Top 10 list of per capita leaders and a list of the top areas in total projects are included below.

All of the above stories are posted at the magazine's award-winning website, www.siteselection.com.

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 48,000 executives of fast-growing firms. The senior publication in the development field, Site Selection is also available via Site Selection Online. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Conway, publisher of Site Selection magazine, the Conway Analytics Report and a family of online industry newsletters, has been a trusted advisor to corporations, government economic development and investment promotion agencies around the world since 1954. Conway owns and manages Conway Events, organizer of worldwide FDI events; Berlin-based FDI advisory firm Conway Advisory; and New York-based Conway PR & Marketing, a leading PR and lead-generation firm. Conway also manages the Industrial Asset Management Council. Conway in 2013 launched a Custom Publishing Division that has published a number of prominent state economic development guides. Conway in 2015 cemented location advisory and lead generation cooperation agreements with Silverlode Consulting in the US and Tractus in Asia. Conway employs over 80 people in 10 offices in seven countries.