Tennessee among top states for economic recruitment in 2016

Tennessee among top states for economic recruitment in 2016

Volunteer State wins Gold Shovel award again from Site Selection

June 7th, 2016 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

Volkswagen Chattanooga President Christian Koch, Economic Development Commissioner Randy Boyd, Gestamp President Francisco J. Riberas, and Gestamp North America President Jeff Wilson, from left, discuss Gestamp's plans to add more than 500 jobs in Chattanooga. Gestamp's $180 million expansion was one of the biggest new business investments in Tennessee last year and helped the state win the Gold Shovel award for the second consecutive year.

Photo by Angela Lewis Foster /Times Free Press.

Tennessee is among a half dozen states that are being recognized by Site Selection magazine with its annual Gold Shovel award for attracting the most new business investment in 2015.

Tennessee won the top development honor from the business publication for the second consecutive year. The Volunteer State also won Gold Shovel honors in 2009 and in 2012.

Five other states — California, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Utah — also are recipients of the magazine's 2016 Gold Shovel Award in recognition of projects undertaken in 2015 creating a significant number of high-value-added new jobs, as well as investment.

"The states and their communities receiving 2016 Shovel Awards not only have the right combination of factors to attract and retain business, they also display a pro-business attitude and marketing savvy," Geraldine Gamble, editor of Area Development, said in a statement Tuesday. "They deserve to be recognized for winning high-impact economic development projects."

The major projects lured to Tennessee last year included the $180 million of expansion in Chattanooga by the Spanish automotive supplier Gestamp, a VW supplier that is adding 510 jobs in Chattanooga. Other automotive expansions by Denso Manufacturing in Athens and Nissan in Smyrna are helping to expand Tennessee's growing automotive industry.

Other major projects announced last year in Tennessee include those by Advanced Munitions International, Aegis Sciences Corp., Community Health Systems, FICOSA North America, Lifetime Products Inc., Morgan Olson and Ryder Supply Chain Solutions.

"This award demonstrates the focus our state places on supporting existing industry growth, as well as recruiting new projects which ultimately create high quality jobs for Team Tennessee," said Randy Boyd, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.

This story was updated June 7 at 11:05 p.m.