Area Development, a leading national publication covering site selection and facility planning, awarded Wisconsin a 2018 Gold Shovel Award, an honor that recognizes excellence in economic development.
Wisconsin is one of just five states to receive the prestigious award for having achieved significant success in terms of job creation and economic impact for projects undertaken in 2017. The award recognizes that 2017 was a record year for economic development in the state, with 59 companies from Wisconsin and around the world agreeing to locate or expand in Wisconsin. Those projects are expected to create or retain nearly 30,000 jobs and result in more than $11.6 billion in capital investment statewide.
“The 2018 Gold Shovel Award underscores the leadership Wisconsin demonstrates when it comes to cutting-edge economic development programs and initiatives,” says Tricia Braun, WEDC’s deputy secretary and chief operating officer. “As a public-private partnership, WEDC has the flexibility and agility to develop programs to meet the unique needs of the business community, which is exactly what we did with each of these initiatives.”
Area Development also recognized Foxconn Technology Group’s historic $10 billion investment with a commitment to create 13,000 jobs as one of the “Large Job Creating Projects of the Year” and “Billion Dollar Projects of the Year.”
Other WEDC-supported projects that played a role in Wisconsin winning the award include HARIBO’s $220 million investment in Pleasant Prairie, which is expected to create 385 jobs; Generac Power Systems’ $73 million investment in Waukesha, which is expected to create 400 jobs; and Kwik Trip Inc.’s $139 million expansion in La Crosse, which is expected to create more than 300 jobs.
Area Development’s Shovel Awards recognize the state economic development agencies—including WEDC—that drive economic development through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions. In the competition, states are judged based on the number of high-value-added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities and industry diversity.
Learn more about the 2018 Shovel Award winners.