BATON ROUGE, La. -- Site Selection magazine today released its annual "Governor's Cup" rankings, in which Louisiana's national economic development projects ranking improved 12 spots to third best in the U.S., behind only Texas and Ohio. The ranking was Louisiana's highest ever in the 23-year history of the "Governor's Cup" project rankings. Additionally, on a per-capita basis, Louisiana's ranking jumped from ninth in 2009 to first in the U.S. for 2010.
The "Governor's Cup" measures the quantity of significant business development projects for the calendar year. The announcement marks another significant improvement for Louisiana, which overall was ranked 15th in 2009 and 27th in 2008.
"This ranking is yet another example of our state's strong economic momentum and shows why it's critical to keep taxes low and invest in workforce development programs," said Gov. Jindal. "By any reasonable measure, Louisiana's economy has outperformed the South and the U.S. since the beginning of the national recession, and we're just getting started. We're going to continue to aggressively pursue business investment for our state so that our sons and daughters can raise their families and pursue their careers right here in Louisiana."
"Since day one we have made economic development and job creation the top priority of our administration," said Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Stephen Moret. "Thanks to this focus, including our efforts to create a more competitive business climate, aggressively support small business development and provide turnkey workforce solutions for expanding companies, we continue to receive positive national recognition for our economic results. We will continue to work hard every day to help position Louisiana's economy to outperform the South and U.S. on a regular basis."
Since January 2008, LED has secured projects that will create more than 39,500 new direct and indirect jobs and more than $8.5 billion in new capital investment, as well as billions in new sales for small businesses. Louisiana's improved ranking was the result of a wide variety of business investment decisions in 2010. For example, Nucor Corp. announced a multiphase iron and steel production facility in St. James Parish that could create 1,250 jobs and $3.4 billion in capital investment. Globalstar Inc. announced the relocation of its corporate headquarters and product development activities from Silicon Valley to Covington, La., a project that will result in more than 500 new, high-paying jobs. Aeroframe Services is in the process of adding more than 300 new, high-paying jobs to its facility at Chennault International Airport in Southwest Louisiana. Blade Dynamics Ltd., the result of a partnership between Dow Venture Capital and American Superconductor Corp., is launching a 600-job project at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, focused on manufacturing high-tech wind turbine blades and components.
In its 2010 "Governor's Cup" awards, Site Selection also recognized several metropolitan areas in Louisiana:
- New Orleans placed 10th among metropolitan areas with populations over 1 million.
- Baton Rouge placed first among metropolitan areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million, while Shreveport-Bossier City and Houma-Thibodaux ranked fourth and fifth in this category.
- Lake Charles ranked first among metropolitan areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000, while Monroe and Alexandria ranked fourth and sixth in this category.
- Morgan City ranked seventh among micropolitan areas with populations between 10,000 and 50,000, while Hammond and New Iberia tied for ninth in this category.
Site Selection's "Governor's Cup" rankings are based on the quantity of new and expanded facilities as tracked by Conway Data Inc.'s New Plant Database, which focuses on new corporate location projects with significant impact. It does not track retail and government projects, schools or hospitals. New facilities and expansions included in the rankings must meet at least one of three criteria: (a) capital investment of at least $1 million; (b) creation of at least 50 new jobs; or (c) addition of at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.
Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Data Inc., delivers expansion planning information to 44,000 executives of fast-growing firms. Read more about Site Selection's Governor's Cup Awards at www.siteselection.com.