State Receives 2012 Silver Shovel Award

Jackson, Miss. (June 12, 2012) – Area Development magazine, a leading economic development publication covering site selection and facility planning, has awarded Mississippi a 2012 Silver Shovel Award.
Now in their seventh year, Area Development’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. Mississippi has received a 2012 Silver Shovel award in the 3 million and under population group. The state received a Silver Shovel award in 2011, as well.
“This award recognizes Mississippi for our focus on job creation,” Governor Phil Bryant said. “I am appreciative of Area Development for highlighting our state’s economic development successes and our commitment to not only recruiting new business to the state but helping our existing employers grow and further invest in their Mississippi operations.”
The awards are presented to states with the highest weighted scores based on number of high-valued added jobs created 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.
“As the economy slowly recovers, communities are going to great lengths to attract new businesses and to help their existing corporate citizens to expand their business,” said Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development. “The states receiving 2012 Shovel Awards deserve special recognition for their efforts.”
In response to Area Development’s call for submissions, the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) submitted a list of the top 10 State-assisted economic development projects initiated in 2011, based on number of jobs to be created or investment committed.  Submissions included Stion’s solar panel production plant in Hattiesburg, Miss., Chevron’s new premium base oil refinery facility in Pascagoula, Lockheed Martin’s mission support center in Clinton and Nissan’s expansion to add production of the Xterra and Frontier vehicle models to the production line-up at its Canton assembly plant.  Other submissions included pharmaceutical distributor Anda’s new distribution facility in Olive Branch, BorgWarner’s expansion in Water Valley, Southern Motion’s expansion of operations into Baldwyn, Elevance Renewable Sciences’ bio-refinery and derivatives plant in Natchez, KC Integrated Services’ logistics service center in Sherman and silicon carbide wafer producer II-VI Inc.’s expansion in Starkville.
“MDA is honored to receive this Silver Shovel Award, and we are grateful to Area Development for this recognition of our efforts to create new job opportunities and greater prosperity for Mississippi citizens and communities,” said MDA Executive Director Brent Christensen. “All of us at MDA are thankful to our economic development partners around the state for their hard work on these projects and their focus, day in and day out, on economic development in Mississippi.”
A report on the 2012 Shovel Award winners will be published in the Summer 2012 issue of Area Development and posted online at

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