Economic Dev. award article - InSource News Silver Shovel PhotoArea Development, a leading national publication covering site selection and facility planning, awarded Wisconsin a 2015 “Silver Shovel Award,” an honor that recognizes excellence in economic development.

“The Badger State is in the midst of a remarkable run up the economic development ladder of visibility,” the magazine said in announcing the award. “Under Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin has emerged as a model of fiscal progress and new thinking for a former-Rust Belt state whose economy has ossified a bit.”

Also this year, Chief Executive magazine ranked Wisconsin the 12th best state to do business in its annual survey of CEOs. The state had placed as low as 41st just five years earlier.

Area Development’s Gold and Silver Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies—including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC)—that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions. The awards are made in recognition of economic development projects undertaken in 2014 that will create a significant number of high-value-added new jobs as well as capital investment. Among the WEDC-supported projects that played a role in Wisconsin winning the award are Meijer’s new $146 million distribution center, expected to create 256 jobs in Kenosha County, and Schreiber Foods Inc.’s $87 million expansion, expected to create 160 jobs in Green Bay.

The magazine also noted that the passage of a “right to work” law earlier this year will likely mean more companies will consider locating or expanding in Wisconsin in 2015.

“The states and their communities receiving 2015 Shovel Awards have proven that they understand the makings of successful economic development strategies,” said Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development. “They deserve special recognition for their efforts to grow their economies and provide well-paying jobs in a time of intense competition for new investment.”

(October 2015)