Latest: January / February 2021 Issue (Volume 54, Number 1) - The January / February 2021 Issue features our annual State of the Year and Deal of the Year awards. Plus, our editor's top utility picks, the future of electric vehicles, and more.
State of the Year: North Carolina | A rising star with a global reach, North Carolina has been on our radar for several years. In 2020, NC was a top 10 state in our most important State Rankings categories. Now, the Tar Heel State has won our top honor for the first time.
2020 Economic Development Deal of the Year Awards
Gold Award: Cybertruck Gigafactory | Elon Musk likes to invent new words to describe his products and his manufacturing facilities. Tesla’s newest Gigafactory grabs our Gold Award for Greater Austin, TX.
Silver Award: Turning Renewables Into Diesel | Louisiana may be a fossil fuel giant, but the Pelican State has its eye on a green future. Our Silver prize goes to Louisiana Economic Development for the $9.2-billion Grön Fuels complex.
COVID-19: The Road To Recovery | It’s been our privilege to tell you about the heroic efforts of economic development organizations and state governments who have joined forces with local businesses to respond to the most urgent needs of the COVID-19 pandemic.
State Profiles | In this issue, we unveil our 21st Century Site Seekers’ Guide, featuring our new State Profiles. Spoiler Alert: We put each state’s most dazzling gems into our new showcase (and there’s a new Directory!)
Ready To Scale New Heights | Join us as Colorado Gov. Jared Polis explains how the Rocky Mountain State is getting the jump on climate change and growing a highly skilled workforce for emerging growth sectors like cybersecurity.
Wanting To Live Where You Work | Businesses and EDOs are vying to attract Millennials—and quality of life is key—making it crucial that talent attraction strategies address work-life balance as well as affordability.
Featured Locations Directory | As we were saying, we’re also debuting a new Site Seekers’ Guide Featured Locations Directory in this issue. If your eyes are tired when you get there, just scan it with your smartphone.
Insurance Capital Of The World | The Hartford Region offers a skilled workforce with an ideal and strategic location for cutting-edge advances in InsurTech innovation
From Skincare To Supplements | Find out how the business of biotech is branching out and becoming a coveted asset in a number of other industries.
Shifting Supply Chain Priorities | Minimizing lead times and lowering costs was a top do-do in Logistics, but COVID-19 moved ensuring critical supply chain resiliency to the number one spot.
Cutting The Red Tape In Kentucky | The Bluegrass State is putting expansions on the fast track with several new facilities in the works and job creation on the rise.
Cybersecurity 2.0 | The red-hot growth sector of cybersecurity has created an estimated 1 million jobs in the U.S., but at least half of these positions are going unfilled because of a severe shortage of workers with the specialized skills required for cyber jobs. Take our annual tour of the cyber sector and see which locations have put together the assets that are required to become a top cyber hub.
COVID-19: Response And Recovery | Economic development organizations and local businesses keep finding inspiring and innovative ways to join forces to meet the most urgent needs of this unprecedented crisis.
Planting The Seeds Of Growth | The most important metric in evaluating a startup ecosystem is how many startups succeed in putting down roots in a community. Find out which locations are nurturing startup ecosystems with access to skilled labor, angel investors and an affordable quality of life.
Staying Safe And Strong In Ohio | When the first coronavirus cases were announced in Ohio in early March, Gov. DeWine acted quickly, putting public health first and establishing best practices for staying safe and strong—which also is his blueprint for recovery in the Buckeye State.
Mississippi’s Battle Plan | Scientists at Vicksburg’s Engineer R&D Center have been deploying supercomputers to develop models illustrating how the coronavirus spreads.
Generating Growth In Genesee | Fast approval times along with preparation and delivery help maximize western New York’s abundant talent and power.
Putting Food On The Table | COVID-19 caused major disruptions to the agribusiness and food processing supply chain, but these locations have what it takes to bring goods from farm to market.
Lone Star State Can Take A Punch | Depressed oil prices and the coronavirus hit Texas like a one-two punch, but instead of hitting the deck, the heavyweight champ of state economies is punching back.
On The Front Lines | In locations throughout the nation, advanced manufacturing facilities and resources are being enlisted in the fight against COVID-19.
Find, Fund And Foster | Canada continues to position itself as a global cleantech leader with assistance from the Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC).
The Illinois Advantage | A great logistics network and a world-class education system enable the Land of Lincoln to generate the fifth-highest GDP among states.
Rolling On The River | River Ridge Commerce Center in southern Indiana has become an economic magnet for the entire region due to its logistical advantages.
Getting Busy In Baltimore | Record cargo volumes and the biggest container vessels ever are surging into the Port of Baltimore, raising the economic tide in Maryland.
2020 Business Facilities Rankings Report | We put the impact of the pandemic in lockdown mode when we calculated the results for our 16th annual Rankings Report, so our red carpet still is reserved for the best of the best, as usual.
2020 Rankings Report: Top-Ranked States | We’ve got a new name for our workforce development ranking, a new category ranking the leaders in Digital Infrastructure and an early look at the states poised to dominate offshore wind power.
2020 Rankings Report: Top-Ranked Metros | Our Metro Rankings report features our first-ever ranking of the leading industrial parks. The top metro in our Millennial Magnets scoreboard may surprise you (hint: they’re also tall in the saddle).
Doubling Down On Renewables | The U.S. EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2020 forecasts a rapid decline of coal and nuclear power in this decade, the continuing expansion of renewables and the growth of U.S. exports of oil and gas.
Deadline Extended To Invest In Opportunity | The IRS has extended a critical deadline for investments in qualified opportunity zones until the end of 2020, hoping to entice investors who have largely sat on their money during the global pandemic.
COVID-19: Response And Recovery | EDOs and local businesses continue to join forces, finding inspiring and innovative ways to meet the most urgent needs of the crisis.
Florida’s Way Forward | The Sunshine State is used to making things grow, this includes its tech industry, where FL is sprouting thousands of new jobs.
Is It OK To Scream On The Roller Coaster? | Visitors to the most popular sites and attractions in the country will find them adjusted to the reality of life in a pandemic…but it’s still better than staying home.
Over-The-Horizon Resource Plan | Indiana-based Hoosier Energy is diversifying, integrating new energy-related possibilities in order to help address changing demands.
Making Space For New Priorities | To meet longer-term storage and cargo fluidity needs, Georgia Ports Authority purchased 145 acres adjacent to the Port of Savannah.
Louisiana Commissions Resilience | When COVID-19 rewrote business plans in 2020, Louisiana started charting a path toward safely reopening the economy and making the state more resilient for the long-term.
Tarheel Temptations Reel In Big Fish | Through two popular incentive programs, the NC Department of Commerce tailors grants to help attract jobs and the company making an investment.
COVID 19: Response And Recovery | Economic development organizations have played a central role in distributing emergency financial relief to small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis, acting as the point of contact for federal SBA loans and a plethora of new state and metro grants and loans aimed at providing a lifeline to the local economy. EDOs, businesses and higher ed resources have joined forces to create new supply lines for desperately needed personal protection equipment.
The Skills To Cope With Crisis | According to labor force experts, now is the time for companies to double down on their learning budgets and commit to reskilling in order to help workers adapt to rapidly changing conditions, strengthen businesses for future disruptions and address the pre-pandemic skills gap. Find out how some locations are handling this crisis and evolving technologies.
Snapshots: 60 Seconds with Mike Grundmann | Grundmann, Senior Vice President, Talent Solutions, Virginia Economic Development Partnership, discusses workforce development, recruitment and training, and the impact of COVID-19.
Biotech Campus Scales Up To Fight COVID-19 | Companies at Huntsville, AL’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology have increased lab testing capacity, rolled out point-of-care testing diagnostics, and continued work on antibody treatments for immune response.
Local For Local | Pandemic-related disruptions are forcing industry leaders to rethink supply chain and logistics strategies, with a trend toward localization.
Meet The HQ Magnets | Location is an important part of a company’s identity. Take a look at a few cities that pass the appeal test for corporate headquarters.
Tennessee Charts A Safe Reboot | A statewide initiative pledges to safely reboot Tennessee’s economy through guidance and best practices for employers, employees, businesses and consumers.
Amazon Gets Bigger In Delaware | The First State will soon be home to a third Amazon fulfillment center. The new Wilmington facility is expected to create more than 1,000 full-time jobs.
Hungry For High Tech | Now at the forefront of emerging sectors like cloud computing and cybersecurity, Virginia stands ready to push new boundaries as a U.S. leader in IT.
Healthcare In A Hub With Hometown Feel | See why Sierra Vista, AZ is uniquely positioned for businesses in the healthcare industry that are seeking to expand, relocate or launch a new enterprise.
Manufacturing 4.0 | Innovative technology is catapulting manufacturing into a new age of efficiency across a plethora of industries from aerospace to medical devices. Discover some locations that have diversified their high-tech growth sectors, positioning them to thrive in this new age of efficiency.
Biotech: Finding The DNA For Success | To prepare for the future and remain relevant in the ever-evolving business landscape, biopharma and medtech organizations will be looking for new ways to create value and new metrics to make sense of today’s wealth of data.
Show Me Success Story | Join us as we sit down with Gov. Mike Parson, who gives us an inside look at Missouri’s formula for success. It’s all about infrastructure — physical and human, with workforce development a top priority.
Revving Up To Go The Distance | Automotive revenues and profits have robustly rebounded in the U.S. since 2015, but how automakers respond to several transformative challenges they will face over the next five years will determine the long-term viability of sustainable growth in this sector.
On The Rise In Middle TN | Middle Tennessee is one of the fastest-growing regions in the nation, and Nashville International Airport (BNA) is growing with it.
Rebuilding An Empire | New York State is investing an additional $150 billion in the nation’s largest infrastructure program, reinforcing its prime location status.
Preparing For Tomorrow’s Jobs Today | Find out what strategies the Carolinas are employing to prepare their workforces for further development to meet changing industry needs.
Taking High-Tech To New Heights | Arizona manufacturing is at the forefront of innovation with a highly-skilled talent base, robust supply chain and low business costs near some of the world’s largest economies.
Metropolises Of Manufacturing | Take a look at a couple of the world’s largest industrial areas according to worldatlas.com, and then learn about some closer to home.
Building A Sustainable Future | Locations in Florida and Virginia have taken leadership positions in facilitating sustainable development, proving you can make some green by going green.
State Of The Year: Texas | We could have called it State of the Decade and the name of the winner wouldn’t have changed: the Lone Star State has lassoed our top honor for an unprecedented fourth time. Click here to find out how Texas keeps sitting tall in the saddle.
2019 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEAL OF THE YEAR AWARDS
Gold Award: Automotive Deal Of The Decade | Michigan Economic Development Corp. took the top prize for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ (FCA) $4.5-billion expansion project, including a new Jeep assembly plant in Detroit.
Silver Award: Growth Turbocharged With Lithium | South Korea’s SK Group is getting a leg up on the competition for lithium-ion batteries by putting a new plant in Commerce, GA, within shouting distance of automotive OEMs in the Southeast.
Power To The People | The U.S. Energy Information Administration says 42 gigawatts of new electric generation capacity will go online in 2020. Meanwhile, our annual Editor’s Picks: Utilities will electrify you.
Shreveport: Ready For Prime Time | A maintenance, overhaul and repair shop is coming to Shreveport Regional Airport, getting this hub in northern Louisiana ready to reach new heights.
The Golden Goose In CA | The California Competes Tax Credit (CCTC) Committee approved $88.7 million in tax credits for 14 companies projected to create 2,327 new, full-time jobs and more than $1.5 billion in new investments across the State.
Logistics: In It For The Long Haul | Record growth is taking place in America’s $1.64-trillion logistics and transportation industry. It seems everywhere you look, new and better ways are being found to move goods to market faster, cheaper and more efficiently. Join us on a tour of some of the hottest haulers.
Mississippi Is Ready For Liftoff | The Magnolia State is surging to the top with a skilled workforce that is setting new standards for success in advanced manufacturing. Join us as Gov. Phil Bryant gives us his recipe for success.
Making Connections In Michigan | Advanced manufacturing makes up a huge part of Michigan’s business structure, blending its traditional work ethic and a high-tech innovative vision.
Starting Up Is Big In Texas | Is there anything that isn’t big in Texas? Learn how the Lone Star State is cornering the market for business startups.
Building A Better Maryland | A Better Maryland is the new state development plan that includes 10 goals—along with the visions, objectives and agencies that will achieve them.
Harvesting Growth In Stormy Weather | Although America’s farmers are feeling the impact of the current trade war with China, locations that have established strong agribusiness sectors continue to thrive.
Business Is Blossoming In MS | Mississippi has reduced the amount of capital investment and the minimum number of jobs required to receive aerospace and data center incentives.
Data-driven Doctors Will Text U Now | Digital transformation is driving innovation in the life sciences sector, with transparency as a top priority and a focus on relationship-driven partnerships.
World-class Workers In IL | One of Illinois’ greatest assets is its people. This talent pool of nearly 6.5 million is hard to match.
Tennessee: Select Sites Are Ready | TNECD has selected four counties to participate in the latest round of the Select Tennessee PEP, which helps communities identify opportunities for site development.
New Mexico: Permian Basin Booming | Southeastern New Mexico is upgrading its logistics network to facilitate growth generated by oil and gas production in the Permian Basin.
2019 Business Facilities Rankings Report | Our 15th annual Rankings Report maintains BF’s standard for credible and comprehensive results. And while the rankings ecosystem is getting crowded and the categories may evolve over time, our commitment to an unbiased assessment of valid metrics never wavers.
2019 Rankings Report: Best States | If you want to know which state has the best business climate and who’s got the up-arrow mojo in cybersecurity, unmanned aerial systems, wind farms, data centers and a bevy of other growth sectors, head straight for our 2019 State Rankings.
2019 Rankings Report: Top Metros | We’ve added a couple of new blades to our rankings Cuisinart, slicing and dicing statistical chunks into easily digestible categories that serve up results for cities, counties and MSAs in our most comprehensive Metro Rankings to date.
2019 Rankings Report: Global Locations |We measure international locations’ progress on a range of factors, including artificial intelligence, renewable energy, economic growth potential, global competitiveness, and beyond.
Ready To Hit The Ground Running | Precertified sites—also known as shovel ready—speed up the development cycle for projects by cutting the read tape and lining up key approvals in advance of the site selection process. Take our tour and find out where the sites that are ready to go are waiting for you.
The Tourist Game Is Growing | With more than 450 commercial casinos across 24 states, the $261 billion U.S. casino industry supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide.
A Sunny Outlook In Florida | Commercial real estate projects brought $20 billion into Florida’s economy in 2018 and similar to the state’s population, the growth will continue.
An Impressive History | Partnerships with local communities and Hoosier Energy’s 18 member systems have resulted in more than $11.5 billion in new investments and 50,000 new jobs.
Global Investment: Destinations of Choice | The U.S. surge in incoming FDI has made foreign direct investment a top economic development priority for state and metro economic development organizations throughout the country. Some of the leading destinations for FDI are offering up the keys to their successful strategies. Take some time to learn from the best.
Leading By Example In Louisiana | Gov. John Bel Edwards has dug his way out of the deficit he inherited from his predecessor and restored full funding for education, but he didn’t stop there. During Edwards’ tenure Louisiana has become a national leader in cybersecurity and a global leader in water management and coastal restoration.
On The Front Lines Of The Cyberwar | The severe shortage of cyber security professionals around the world—there’ll be an estimated 3.5 million unfilled positions by 2021—is getting worse while cybercriminals get bolder and bolder. Find out which locations are ready to lead the battle.
Editor’s Picks: Tech Hubs | Tech hubs are complex organisms that draw nourishment from an environment in which startups flourish. Explore our Editor’s Picks for leading hubs that have developed viable startup ecosystems.
Fostering Opportunity | Maryland’s governor announced a series of initiatives and legislation to further expand the thriving Maryland Opportunity Zones.
Smooth Sailing On The Delaware | Gulftainer’s multimillion-dollar investment is transforming the Port of Wilmington into the largest logistics facility on the Delaware River.
Logistics Is Moving Into A New Age | Digital transformation technologies rapidly are moving the logistics and distribution sector into what is broadly known as Industry 4.0.
Sizing Up Sites In Tennessee | Find out which five counties are benefitting from the latest round of the Select TN Property Evaluation Program, helping improve their inventory of industrial sites and buildings.
Putting Talent To Work | Your father’s workforce training doesn’t live here anymore. What used to be an on-the-job osmosis of acquired skills from senior co-workers now starts in college or even high school, and it’s a cooperative effort with locations leveraging higher ed and business resources to set the curricula. Jenny Vickers will tell you how they’re doing it.
Manufacturing Growth | The U.S. manufacturing sector finally has regained the output levels lost during the Great Recession. Find out which locations have put in place the essentials to attract and sustain the high-tech manufacturing clusters that are turbocharging the U.S. economy.
Biotech Is Ready For The Big Time | The biotechnology sector has shown great promise for more than a decade, but until recently the path from the lab to the marketplace was a bumpy road. The surging science of genomics promises to speed things up, by deciphering the DNA in the formula for success.
Editor’s Picks: STEM Leaders | The U.S. is trailing in the critical race to develop a STEM-skilled workforce, with China outpacing us at a rate of almost 10-1. The only thing at stake is the global technology crown, which the U.S. has owned longer than the Stanley Cup. The good news: locations across the U.S. are busy creating an army of high-tech reinforcements.
Data Centers: Get Ready For 5G | The Industrial Internet of Things will be connected by 5G networks. Burgeoning clusters of data centers will be there at the creation.
State of the Year: Virginia|Virginia is doing it all. Already home to the nation’s top data center market and dozens of major corporate headquarters, VA’s top five projects in 2018 pulled in nearly $6 billion in capital investment and cemented the Commonwealth’s reputation as a high-tech leader.
2018 Economic Development Deal of the Year Awards
Gold Award: Amazon HQ2 Times Two |Jeff Bezos’ decision to split up his Amazon HQ2 project resulted in the first tie in the history of our Gold Award, with Empire State Development and Virginia Economic Development Partnership sharing the top prize.
Editor’s Picks: Top Utilities |These utility power players are energizing economic development and proactively diversifying their sources of energy for a rapidly adjusting market while offering old-school reliability combined with cutting-edge efficiency.
Foreign Direct Investment Lives Here | FDI begats more FDI. Locations that have successfully transformed themselves into FDI magnets are busy forming “recruiting committees” of transplants that already have put down roots in their community, targeting overseas players in the same industries. Join Jenny Vickers as she tours our Editor’s Picks of FDI magnets worth emulating.
Ports/FTZs: Critical Link In Global Chain | Ports and Foreign Trade Zones continue to upgrade their ability to move cargo in and out as critical links in the expanding global supply chain. Come aboard for our annual voyage.
A High-Tech Leader With Home-Grown Talent | Colorado is more than a great place to chill amid the scenic splendor of the Rockies—CO is a high-tech powerhouse poised to plant its flag atop a bevy of emerging growth sectors. Join us as we sit down with Gov. John Hickenlooper and analyze his formula for success.
Ontario Has Everything You Want | If you’re looking for a skilled talent pool, solid infrastructure, great universities, ease of access to global markets and an unmatched quality of life, look North. Ontario, Canada has it all.
Manufacturing Is Back | U.S. manufacturing is in the midst of an impressive resurgence. Here’s a report from the field on locations that are busy making things.
Mississippi: A Team Effort | Find out how the can-do cooperation between state, regional and metro EDOs in the Magnolia State can bring your project to fruition.
2018 Business Facilities Rankings Report | Our 14th annual Rankings Report takes a close look at red-hot emerging growth sectors, including cybersecurity, unmanned aerial systems and artificial intelligence. Find out which locations are leading the way in new technologies.
2018 Rankings Report: Best States| Our solar and wind power kings still wear their crowns—and our heavyweight champ in workforce training still is undisputed—but you’ll find some surprising up-and-comers throughout or categories.
The HQ of Corporate Headquarters| Join us as we visit a city in the heart of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex that has the most Fortune 1,000 corporate headquarters per capita than anyplace of a similar size in the United States.
Marshall Plan for Talent in Michigan| MI is investing in its workforce by backing a new partnership between educators and employers that promises to transform Michigan’s talent pipeline, attracting and developing in-demand talent.
VIAA: A Manufacturing Future| They can make just about anything in Southwest VA, from snack foods to HR software to advanced power systems for electric vehicles.
Port Houston Has a 10-Year Plan| With shipping increasing exponentially, Port Houston is investing $1.2 billion on new cranes, gantries and container yard space.
Get Happy in South Louisiana| With Southern Living’s “Tastiest Town in the South’ (hint: it’s Lafayette, LA) in its midst, South Louisiana has the secret sauce for success. Take our tour and try not to spill any of that famous red sauce on our pages.
Agri-Business Is Growing Like Topsy| Agri-business generates more than 5.5 percent of the U.S. GDP, with $137 billion of that coming directly from U.S. farms. Fill your plate and enjoy our smorgasbord.
Patriots Opt For Zone Defense | With funding from a $1.5-million grant from the Department of Defense, the six New England states have created a Regional Defense Industry Collaboration.
Billion-dollar Boom in Arizona| Intel puts down $7 billion to finish its semiconductor fab in Chandler while Nikola Motor bets a billion on a million-square-foot hydrogen-electric powered truck plant.
Training And Talent Acquisition | For several years now, we’ve been tracking the efforts of locations to meet the top priority in economic development: assuring that a skilled workforce will be available when big-ticket projects come knocking. Take this year’s annual tour of leading workforce training programs and learn how talent acquisition and recruitment have been added to the workforce development toolkit.
The Knowledge-based Heart Of Canada | Take a trip with us to Fredericton in New Brunswick, an entrepreneurial hub that is a one-stop shop where startups can have a single point of contact to access a variety of programs designed to spur new business ventures.
Editor’s Picks: Incentives | It’s getting tougher and tougher to make our picks from the increasingly creative and targeted incentives that are being offered to attract big-ticket projects. Turn the page and see who made the cut.
Betting Big On High Technology—And Winning | Nevada, a state that was hit hard by the Great Recession, has turbocharged its impressive recovery by putting out the welcome mat for high-tech growth sectors. In an exclusive interview with BF, Gov. Brian Sandoval shares us his formula for success.
Engine for Growth In RI | You can find 14 percent of Rhode Island’s manufacturing jobs at Quonset Business Park, a tally that keeps growing.
A Safer Supply Chain | As the logistics industry moves the global supply chain onto digital platforms, cybersecurity will be a key priority.
The World Is Coming To Tennessee | The Volunteer State’s red-hot financial sector, which has added more than 24,000 jobs in this decade, continues to attract foreign direct investment.
Business Is Welcome, Not New Taxes | If you’re looking for a place where there’s a big welcome mat for new business, but no personal income tax, corporate taxes or an inventory tax, then Nevada is for you.
Cybersecurity Takes Center Stage | You just need to glance at the latest headlines to know that the cyber crime threat is growing exponentially. Here’s the good news: at least a dozen states are competing for a leadership position in the emerging cybersecurity sector. You are cleared to take our tour.
Biotech: Hungry for Big Deals | Industry analysts are predicting that 2018 will turn out to be a banner year for merger and acquisition activity in the biotech/pharma sector, a side effect of the federal tax overhaul.
From the Boardroom to the Governor’s Mansion | Gov. Matt Bevin is bringing his CEO skills to the dealmaking table, and the results are spectacular: an annual record of $9.2 billion in capital investment in the Bluegrass State.
The Cobots Are Coming | Collaborative robots—the type that work alongside human workers—are the next big thing in advanced manufacturing. Join us as we rub shoulders with our new automated friends on the factory floor.
Editor’s Picks: STEM Leaders | Here are our choices for the locations that are ahead of the curve in filling the STEM gap: the shortage of workers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills.
New Mexico’s Energy Capital | Lea County produces more oil than 43 states, but diversity is the hallmark of its energy initiatives, including a $4 billion nuke facility.
Aiming for the Leading Edge | The need to be near end-users is driving an uptick in the expansion of smaller satellite markets in the data center sector.
ON THE COVER – State of the Year: South Carolina | With BMW and Volvo doubling down on their investments and Samsung opening a new appliance plant in SC, the Palmetto State is expanding the foundation of its already impressive manufacturing base while diversifying into new growth sectors.
2017 Economic Development Deal Of The Year Awards
Gold Award: Foxconn’s Mega-Project | It was no contest for the top honor in our annual dealmaking contest—the judges were unanimous: Foxconn’s choice of Wisconsin for a new LCD flat-screen panel plant that will create 13,000 new jobs.
Arkansas Is On Everybody’s Radar | In an exclusive interview with BF, Gov. Asa Hutchinson gives us the lowdown on the ultra-friendly business climate that’s creating new jobs at a record pace in the Natural State.
ON THE COVER – Centers of Technology: The Future is Now | Locations far and wide have figured out the formula for leveraging their higher ed assets and planting the seeds that grow into high-tech hubs. Join Jenny Vickers as she tours the tech centers where innovation and commerce have joined forces.
New Mexico: Catalyst for High-tech Growth | In an exclusive interview with BF, Gov. Susana Martinez gives us her blueprint for transforming New Mexico into a business friendly growth leader that is outpacing the competition for big-ticket projects, including a big “like” from Facebook.
Mississippi Has the Winning Ticket | Mississippi has proven time and again that it has a winning combination—including a skilled workforce, low tax rates and one-stop permitting process—for stimulating corporate growth and success.
The Rise of the Machines | The logistics industry has seen a major shortage of truck drivers over the past few years, but the rise of autonomous road transportation eventually may render this issue moot.
MD is Commercializing Clean Energy | The University of Maryland’s new Green Energy Institute will develop and attract private investment and commercialize clean energy innovations and deployment solutions.
ON THE COVER – 2017 Business Facilities Rankings Report | As always, the 13th Annual edition of the most credible and comprehensive rankings in our industry has evolved to give you critical benchmarks in emerging 21st-century growth sectors, including cyber security and offshore wind energy.
2017 Rankings Report: Best States | Texas, Utah, California and North Carolina posted strong overall results in our state rankings, with the Lone Star State grabbing first place in our flagship Best Business Climate category. Colorado achieved an unprecedented Rocky Mountain high as no. 1 in Economic Growth Potential.
2017 Rankings Report: Top Metros | We’ve refined our criteria and expanded our categories to give you the most detailed evaluation yet of the metros who are staying ahead of the curve—and ahead of the pack—in a wide variety of critical economic development priorities.
The Sky’s The Limit In The Lone Star State | In an exclusive interview with BF, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott explains how his credo of “restrained” government (especially when it comes to taxes and regulations) is fueling skyrocketing growth sectors, including a few that literally are aiming for the stars.
ON THE COVER – Logistics Leaders | New technology is poised to digitally transform the supply chain from end to end, bringing logistics and tech services closer together as system-guided manual processes at distribution centers move to full automation. Join Jenny Vickers as she takes our annual tour of the locations that are leaders in logistics and distribution, moving the goods by land, by rail, on the water and in the air.
Ports and FTZs: Perfect Together | With the nation’s ports handling a record amount of shipping, importers are getting more bang for their buck by moving their goods through the duty-free foreign trade zones located within or adjacent to ports. Find out how and where you can gain these financial advantages in one of the more than 230 foreign trade zones or nearly 400 subzones in the United States.
LiveXchange 2017 Review | A five-time U.S. Olympian, a spirited debate on the future of free trade and unparalleled face-to-face dealmaking between corporate site selectors and prime locations. All of this was to be had at BF’s 13th Annual LiveXchange event, held in the scenic splendor of Park City, UT. Check out our review and get the skinny on next year’s event.
Maryland’s Winning Combo | Harford County offers a strategic position on the I-95 corridor along with a highly skilled workforce and business friendly environment.
Risk and Reward | After a tough year in 2016, new immuno- and gene therapies are leading the way for a much stronger biotech performance in 2017.
A Global Water Management Mecca | Coastal rebuilding projects are driving the growth of the water sector in Louisiana, with the state aiming to become the Silicon Valley of the global water industry.
Tennessee: Prime Destination for FDI | Businesses across the globe are eager to make huge investments in Tennessee, which already has more than 900 foreign-based companies operating in the state.
Small Business Leads to Big Things | After getting clobbered in the Great Recession, Nevada’s economic recovery has been led by small businesses and fueled by functional policies.
The Symbiotic Sector | Travel and Tourism offers “both sides of the coin” benefits—with tourists enjoying what they spend money on and destinations benefitting from the money they spend.
Fired Up and Ready To Go | The competition for projects requires sites that are ready on demand. Find out which locations have certified sites programs that streamline the approval process.
ON THE COVER – The Next Generation Workforce | As U.S. manufacturing rebounds, the need to fill the shortage of skilled workers is intensifying. This makes our annual tour of workforce development programs required reading. Join Jenny Vickers as she showcases the locations busy training the next generation.
Top Utilities: The Power Behind Growth | High-tech growth sectors are making the availability of low-cost power a top priority in their final site-selection decisions, and leading utilities are finding innovative ways to seal the deal and maintain their leadership positions in the power pecking order.
Energizing Louisiana’s Future | In an exclusive interview with BF, Gov. John Bel Edwards gives us the coming attractions on Louisiana’s lock on global hegemony as the top LNG exports hub and its national leadership in cybersecurity.
Heading for the Outer Limits | The aerospace and defense industry will see healthy growth in 2017, with revenues expected to surge due to higher defense spending. Buckle your seat belt, put your tray tables up and prepare for liftoff.
An Enchanting Combination | New Mexico’s scenic beauty, available workforce and logistical benefits continue to help support an enticing business climate.
From Bluegrass to Blue Skies | Amazon’s new air hub has pushed Kentucky further down the runway to its destination as a global air-freight logistics leader.
Manufacturing Accelerates | According to industry analysts, overall growth in manufacturing is expected to speed up in the second half of this year and grow even more in 2018.
A Technology Empire Grows in NY | New York’s $5-billion advanced materials processing industry provides the “enabling technology” for electronics, telecommunications and aerospace.
Land of the Lakes Looks Skyward | The nation’s first “integrated” wind and solar hybrid project will begin producing power outside of Red Lake Falls in northwest Minnesota later this year.
Retail Paradise in Cape Coral | The Florida city offers a low cost of doing business and a relaxed, tropical environment with plenty of room for expansion.
ON THE COVER – State of the Year: Texas | The Lone Star State, the first winner of our top honor in 2007 and a repeat winner in 2012, hits the trifecta in 2016 as it continues to grow the most dynamic and diverse state economy in the nation.
50 Years of Building Inspiration | With this issue, BF commences its 50th volume and commemorates Group C Media’s half-century of building upon Ed Coene’s enduring legacy as a publishing entrepreneur and visionary.
2016 Economic Development Deal of the Year Awards
Gold Award: Mississippi Lands Continental Tire | The Magnolia State, already an automotive powerhouse, becomes an epicenter of tire production with Continental’s $1.45-billion plant, a project that will directly create 2,500 new jobs.
Silver Award:GM Doubles Down in Tennessee | General Motors is investing $789 million in an expansion of its Spring Hill, TN plant, a project expected to yield an estimated economic impact for the region of $3 billion in the next decade.
Bronze Award:Honeywell Picks Georgia | A partnership with Georgia’s university system to train skilled workers brings Honeywell’s new software development center to Atlanta.
Auto-tech is Revving Up | Auto manufacturers are joining forces with tech giants in a race to hit the road with the latest vehicle advancements.
Food Processing Gets Productive | Compliance with the Food Safety Modernization Act, controlling costs and workforce training are among top industry priorities.
Hesperia, CA Has It All | A strategic location with a thriving community and low costs all around—Hesperia is ready for your business.
Louisiana: Leading LNG Export Hub | Venture Global LNG will invest $13 billion in a natural gas liquefaction facility and LNG export terminal in Plaquemines Parish, making the Pelican State an LNG export leader.
ON THE COVER:Keeping up with Advanced Manufacturing| The advanced manufacturing sector is expected to create 3.5 million new jobs in coming decade, but as many as 2 million may go unfilled if the U.S. doesn’t close its skills gap. Join Jenny Vickers as she tours the front-runners.
Ports and FTZs: Gatekeepers for Growth | Exports directly from U.S. foreign trade zones have more than trippled in the past five years, while about a fifth of the goods imported into the U.S. are coming in through FTZs. Get on board for our annual cruise through the nation’s gatekeepers for growth.
New Jersey: A Garden of New Ideas| Learn how Nestlé and other food-processing giants are collaborating with biotech and pharmaceutical players in New Jersey’s brain belt, improving their recipes with 21st-century chemistry.
Iowa: Certified for Development| Finding a suitable location for business has never been easier than it is right now in Iowa. The Hawkeye State has certified sites—ranging from 150 to almost 500 acres—in more than 10 communities that are shovel ready for your latest project.
Ready to Rule the World| The U.S. is poised to dominate the emerging global market for liquified natural gas as U.S. production outpaces domestic demand.
Mississippi: Southern Hospitality | Be it through city-by-city renewal, county-by-county certifications or statewide incentives, Mississippi always has a way of gaining a top position when it comes to business, offering distinct advantages for all involved.
Logistics: $1.4 Trillion and Counting | It’s a buyer’s market as systemic improvements in cost efficiency are delivering better pricing to the logistics sector, but gaps in infrastructure and the accelerating imperative for speed may cloud the sunny outlook. Get the lowdown on the sector that moves everything from here to there.
Texas Talent Toasts the Competition | Travis, Harris and Collin Counties topped Emsi’s tracked talent attraction and retention list, outperforming some heavy hitters in states like Florida and California.
Snapshots | 60 Seconds … with Michelle Brown, President and CEO, Choose NJ, Inc.
COVER STORY: 2016 Business Facilities Rankings Report | It’s hard to believe we’ve being giving you the lowdown on the best of the best for a dozen years now, but we haven’t cut any corners for our 12th Annual Rankings Report. This year’s evaluation is our most comprehensive to date of the state, metro and global leaders.
2016 Rankings Report: Best States | The Lone Star State achieved the best across-the-board results we’ve ever seen in our State Rankings. Texas made our top 10 in a record-shattering 18 out of 24 categories, including four first-place rankings. UT, FL, CA and GA also ranked among the cream of the crop.
2016 Rankings Report: Top Metros | Need to know which metro has the Best Cost of Living or the Lowest Cost of Doing Business? Are you on the lookout for thriving hubs teeming with data centers, STEM jobs or tech startups? Or maybe you’re just looking for a great place to live. It’s all here.
The Future is Welcome in New Mexico | Last year, we sat down with Gov. Susana Martinez and listened intently as she outlined a bold agenda of forward-thinking initiatives designed to turbocharge job creation in NM. Here’s the sequel, and it’s filled with an impressive array of results.
Sonic Boom | The Sunshine State is on a roll with a bright future led by an aerospace sector that shows no signs of being grounded.
Changing Tastes | Competition in the food market is every growing and those who respond to consumer demand will end up on top of the food chain.
The Makings to Manufacture | New England’s leading research institutions, sought-after talent pool and supportive network of innovators and co-location facilities are spurring growth in the advanced manufacturing sector.
Growing Every Which Way | Not only is Arizona seeing population growth at twice the national rate, the Grand Canyon State also is bursting with incentives, job-training assistance and R&D assets.
Design of the Future Arrives | Chicago’s UI Labs Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute is paving the way for advanced manufacturing breakthroughs of the 21st century.
Kentucky: Biotech Bonanza | Lexington is in the midst of a biotechnology surge with the recent addition of a specialized startup and the expansion of an established pharmaceutical plant.
Kansas: Experiencing Fulfillment | Amazon’s new Kansas City fulfillment center will create more than 1,000 jobs and is the second large distribution facility the tech giant has placed in Kansas this year.
Snapshots | 60 Seconds … with Craig Spohn, Executive Director/President, Cyber Innovation Center, Bossier City, LA.
COVER STORY – Engineering a Skilled Workforce | Filling the shortage of skilled workers in the U.S. remains Job One—and the competition for skilled workers has gone global. The good news is that a majority of states are meeting the challenge. Join Jenny Vickers on her annual tour of locations that are tops in training.
So Many Ways to Get There | It’s had some ups and downs in shifting economic tides, but the ship of the state of logistics has kept its bow pointed in the right direction, heading for a land of plenty. Come on board and cruise the sector.
Sooner is Better in Oklahoma | Oklahoma is staying ahead of the curve on the critical priorities for economic development. Join us as Gov. Mary Fallin gives BF an exclusive look at OK’s impressive blueprint for success.
Liquid Gold | Greater Memphis holds the gold standard for water with a 100-trillion-gallon supply at its Memphis Sands Aquifer.
Breaking Records in TN | Tennessee’s business development team landed 25,837 new job commitments in 2015 and is aiming to bring in 28,000 new jobs in 2016.
Together We Stand| Business, Research and Industrial Parks are proliferating in today’s economic landscape and can play an essential role in a company’s success.
NV: A Sure Bet on a Game of Skill | Nevada’s a prime vacation spot for folks looking to put down a risky wager, but the Silver State has improved the odds for business success by building a skilled workforce.
The Road Ahead in the Carolinas | While North and South Carolina are in the process of resolving a long-standing geographical dispute, the future holds new infrastructure and economic promise for both.
A New Century of Scenic Wonders | The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial year of welcoming visitors to the nation’s hundreds of scenic treasures. Join us as we hike to some of the best.
Snapshots| 60 Seconds … with Dennis Davin, Secretary, Pennsylvania Dept. of Community & Economic Development
COVER STORY – Global Biotech Report | The global life sciences industry is cautiously optimistic that it is achieving sustainable growth, but no one expects a return to the pre-Recession boom. Join our overseas correspondent, Stephanie Ramsperger, as she takes her annual tour of the biotech sector.
2016 Economic Development Awards | We adjusted our annual awards categories to shine our spotlight on locations that are leading the way in addressing today’s hot-button issues, including funding infrastructure upgrades, initiating smart grid modernization and pioneering offshore wind farms.
Accelerating Innovation in NY | The Innovate NY Fund, along with the Partnership Fund for New York City, is helping to spur the development of a biotech cluster in the Big Apple.
The Aerospace Industry – Gaining Altitude | While the performance of the aerospace and defense industry has been less than stratospheric in recent years, it looks as if job creation in this key sector is ready to soar to old heights.
Bluegrass is Looking Green | With advantages in geography, shipping and logistics, Kentucky is in demand as a prime location for new facilities and expansions.
Expect the Unexpected in Arkansas | Siloam Springs, AR is one of the few places where old-school community meets new school opportunity.
The World Comes to New Mexico | New Mexico is growing as a leading center of commerce, drawing in manufacturers to produce their goods with access to more markets around the country and the world.
Business Report – Nebraska: Expanding Horizons | The State’s Economic Development Dept. has awarded Community Development Block Grant funding to the City of York for assistance with a facility expansion.
COVER STORY – State of the Year: Alabama | With Mercedes-Benz expanding auto production in Tuscaloosa, Airbus ready for liftoff in Mobile and a new $600-million Google data center, the Crimson Tide rolls into BF’s top annual honor.
2015 Economic Development Deal of the Year Awards
Gold Award: Mega-campus in Houston | Daikin Industries’ Goodman Group is building a 4.1-million square-foot consolidated campus that will integrate manufacturing, offices, distribution and R&D under one roof for the HVAC systems maker.
Silver Award: Volvo Drives into SC | The Palmetto State takes a giant leap up the list of top-tier automotive manufacturing powerhouses by rolling in Volvo’s first North American auto plant, rising on a site in Berkeley County.
Honorable Mentions | BF’s Economic Development Deal of the Year contest attracted a record number of project submissions from across the country, seven of which were singled out for a tip of the hat by our judges.
Good Eats for a Bulging Bottom Line | Recent mega-mergers of major food companies are not slowing the growth of food processing hubs. Pull up a seat at our dinner table and chow down on the hottest foodie locations.
Hitting on All Cylinders | 2015 was recorded as the best year ever for the U.S. auto industry—but can it keep the pedal to the metal in 2016?
Shining on the Sunflower State | With numerous business advantages in place, it’s no wonder Kansas has experienced significant growth and emerged as a business leader in various industry sectors.
The Golden Standard | Renovate America’s HERO program has helped create thousands of local jobs in California while at the same time helping to increase energy efficiency.
Cover Story: 2015 Rankings Report – Top Metros | Does your hometown rule the roost in economic growth potential, tech jobs, logistics, tax climate and more than a baker’s dozen of other categories? To find out, head straight for our Metro Rankings.
Feature: Certified And Ready To Go | Site selectors are zeroing in on certified sites, which reduce develop- ment costs and put projects on a fast track to success. Join Jenny Vickers on our tour of locations that are fired up and ready to go.
State Focus: The World Comes To Illinois | The Land of Lincoln has built a $700-billion economy on a solid foundation of global commerce and growth sectors including finance and advanced manufacturing.
Feature: Governor With A Global Reach | Gov. Nathan Deal has been piling up the frequent-flyer miles pitch- ing Georgia’s exports and attracting FDI to the Peach State. He gives BF the lowdown on his recent trip to Brazil in an exclusive interview.
Cover Story: Global Bio Report | If there’s one bright spot in the economic gloom enveloping most places in Europe, that glimmer of hope is pulsing out of the Old Continent’s burgeoning biotech sector. Join BF contributing editor Stefanie Ramsperger as she navigates the new terrain of Europe’s bio map and updates the latest from leading labs in the U.S.
Feature: A Rising Star In The Southwest | Whether it’s wiping out a budget deficit while cutting taxes 24 times, doubling trade with Mexico or giving 70,000 students the skills they need for 21st-century jobs, New Mexico is one step ahead of the competition. Gov. Susana Martinez gives BF the secrets to NM’s success.
COVER STORY: New Energy Powers Growth | An Energy Revolution has put the U.S. back on top as the world’s leading energy producer. Take this panoramic tour of the locations that are powering growth by unlocking vast reserves and hooking up renewable energy to their transmission grids.
FEATURE STORY: Aiming For The Top In Utah | Gov. Gary Herbert is closing in on his goal of making Utah the most dynamic state economy. In this Governor’s Report interview, the Beehive State’s chief executive shares the state’s formula for success.
COVER STORY: State Of The Year – Tennessee | The Volunteer State motors into our winner’s circle with a versatile growth engine that’s hitting on all cylinders and creating thousands of jobs from Kingsport to Memphis.
State Focus: Lassoing Jobs In Texas | Visit some prime locations in the Lone Star State, where low taxes an a growing population of skilled workers are an unbeatable combination for luring new business.
Feature Story: Game-Changer In The Heartland | Get an up-close look at the Midwest Inland Port and ADM’s new intermodal freight shipping and receiving facility, which is moving Decatur, IL into the top tier of world-class logistics hubs.
Cover Story: Advanced Manufacturing – Creating Jobs In Three Dimensions | Join us as we explore the brave new world of 3D printing, which is moving out of the labs and into the marketplace as fast as you can, well, “print” a finished part from a downloaded design. Get the skinny on the new technology that promises to revolutionize manufacturing worldwide.
Feature Story: Logistics Clusters – Magnets For Growth | Logistics clusters are getting bigger while global supply chains are shrinking. Go figure. Actually, these two trends are related responses to the same dynamic: the need to get product to customer faster than ever.
Feature Story: Thailand – Nuanced Nation, One-Stop Shop | When we sent correspondent Bill Trüb to the other side of the planet, we knew he’d return with a fresh look at an exotic, emerging economic power. Sit back and enjoy Bill’s informative, entertaining first person account of his tour.
NESA is a regional, non-profit, economic development organization that serves nine counties in the northeastern corner of South Carolina. Our primary objective is to create jobs for the residents of the region by working within the existing industry base and recruiting new companies.