Nebraska Among Silver Shovel Award Recipients

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts, left, accepts the Silver Shovel Award from Dennis Shea, president and publisher of Area Development magazine. (Courtesy Nebraska Governor’s Office)
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

Area Development magazine presented Nebraska with its 2019 Silver Shovel Award last week.

Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts accepted the award from the corporate site selection magazine.

“Today is further proof that Nebraska is one of the best places in America to invest and do business,” Ricketts said in a release.

The magazine recognized Kansas and Rhode Island as Silver Shovel states with small populations. Recipients with 3 to 5 million people were Kentucky, Nevada and Utah. Indiana, South Carolina and Tennessee were picked for states with 5 to 8 million. Among states with 8 to 12 million were Michigan and North Carolina. Lastly, Florida, Illinois and New York won Silver Shovels among the states with a population in excess of 12 million.

Gold Shovel Awards were given to Texas (12+ million), Georgia (8 to 12 million), Virginia (8 to 12 million), Arizona (5 to 8 million), Alabama (3 to 5 million) and Mississippi (under 3 million), the magazine said on its website,

Award winners are determined based on an analysis of each state’s 10 best job creating and investment attraction projects, according to a news release. In Nebraska, these included Facebook’s new data center in Papillion, Becton Dickinson’s expansion in Columbus and Michael Foods’ investment in Bloomfield, which were highlighted in a write-up accompa­nying the award announcement by the magazine. 

Nebraska’s top 10 projects represent nearly $2 billion of capital invest­ment in the state and over 1,500 new jobs, according to the Nebraska Governor’s Office.

“Economic development doesn’t happen on its own. It’s about people,” Nebraska Economic Development Director Dave Rippe said Tuesday. “Our ability to work together as a team – to rally around a mutual vision – is what sets us apart from other states, and what contributed most to today’s achievement.”


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