BATON ROUGE, La. — Today, Area Development magazine awarded Louisiana a 2016 Silver Shovel Award for posting one of the best economic development performances in the U.S. during the past year, based on the state’s most significant economic investments. The 2016 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards honor states with the most significant impact from their leading investment and job creation projects during 2015.
This is the seventh consecutive year that Louisiana has won Area Development’s Silver Shovel Award, following previous awards in 2010 through 2015. The magazine evaluates states, giving weighted scores for jobs per capita, the amount of investment, the number of new facilities, and industry diversity. Louisiana’s projects included two industry announcements with large capital investment and job creation components – Formosa Petrochemical Corporation’s $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex in St. James Parish, and a $3 billion ethane cracker and monethylene glycol manufacturing project by Axiall and Lotte Chemical in Lake Charles.
Other Louisiana projects include EPIC Piping’s advanced pipe fabrication facility and corporate headquarters in Livingston Parish; IBM’s Client Innovation Center in Ouachita Parish; South Korea-based Dongsung FineTec’s cryogenic manufacturing facility in Calcasieu Parish; Shintech Louisiana’s ethylene production expansion in Iberville Parish; a Pin Oak Terminals petroleum liquids storage facility in St. John the Baptist Parish; and Shell Chemical’s new linear alpha olefins manufacturing unit at its Ascension Parish complex. Projects submitted by Louisiana represent more than $17.1 billion in capital investment and 3,202 new direct jobs.
“For Louisiana to be recognized by Area Development with a Silver Shovel Award for the seventh year in a row demonstrates the confidence that businesses have in our state — not just to invest, but to invest big,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Our highly skilled workforce is a major factor in encouraging new investments in the state, so this recognition is an award for all of Louisiana’s residents who keep our economic engine moving."
Louisiana’s economic development projects merited a 2016 Silver Shovel Award in the category for states of 3 million to 5 million people, an honor it shared with Alabama and Kentucky. Only six states in the nation won Gold Shovel Awards — California, Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina, Nevada and Utah.
Area Development collected information from all 50 states on their top job-creation and investment projects. The 2016 Shovel Awards reflect major projects that broke ground, began hiring or invested money in 2015. The 2016 Silver Shovel Award joins Louisiana’s list of honors and recognition:
- Area Development magazine ranked Louisiana No. 8 among the Top States for Doing Business in 2015 – Louisiana’s fifth consecutive year with a Top 10 ranking
- Site Selection magazine ranked Louisiana’s business climate No. 4 in the U.S. in 2015.
- Business Facilities magazine ranked Louisiana No. 1 in Workforce Training for the state’s LED FastStart® program, No. 3 for Best Business Climate, No. 4 in the nation for Economic Growth Potential and No. 3 for high-wage manufacturing leaders in 2015.