State Receives Silver Shovel Award

Jackson, Miss. (May 29, 2013) – Area Development magazine, a leading economic development publication covering site selection and facility planning, has awarded Mississippi a 2013 Silver Shovel Award.
The magazine’s annual Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new businesses, and investments in new and expanded facilities. The 2013 Silver Shovel Award marks Mississippi’s third consecutive year to receive the honor in the 3 million-and-under population group from Area Development.
“We are honored that Area Development has again chosen to recognize Mississippi with a 2013 Silver Shovel Award,” Governor Phil Bryant said. “This award is a testament to our state’s economic development successes and our goal of building a more vibrant and resilient Mississippi that not only recruits new business but helps existing businesses grow and prosper.”
The Shovel Awards are presented to states with the highest weighted scores based on number of high-valued added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities added and industry diversity represented by these projects. Each of the 50 states was invited by Area Development to submit information about its top 10 job creation and investment projects.
“The states receiving 2013 Shovel Awards deserve special recognition for their efforts to attract new businesses and to help their existing corporate citizens to expand their businesses,” said Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development. “They have managed to thrive and emerge from the recession as economic leaders.”
The Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) submitted a list of the top 10 state-assisted economic development projects initiated in 2012, based on number of jobs created or investment committed. Submissions included Roxul’s new stone wool insulation manufacturing plant in Byhalia, Nissan’s expansion to add production of the Sentra compact model to its manufacturing lineup at its Canton assembly plant, Rolls-Royce North America’s second jet engine test stand at John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Milwaukee Electric Tool’s distribution facility in Olive Branch and shipbuilder VT Halter Marine’s expansion in Pascagoula.
“Mississippi is pleased to be honored with a Silver Shovel Award for the third consecutive year, and we are appreciative to Area Development for recognition of our efforts to advance substantial growth in both new and expanding businesses,” said MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen. “The MDA team is thankful to our economic development partners for their hard work and dedication on these projects. Economic development is ever-changing, and we continue to adapt in order to remain competitive and attract new opportunities to Mississippi.”
A report on the 2013 Shovel Award winners will be published in the Q2/Spring 2013 edition of Area Development and posted online at

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