For the third time in four years, Nebraska has been recognized for the growth and development taking place across the state. Area Development, a leading economic development publication, recently recognized Nebraska with a 2022 “Silver Shovel” Award for its achievements in attracting high-value investment projects that will create a significant number of jobs. Nebraska was one of the runners-up in the under 3 million state population category.
Other runners-up included Idaho and Mississippi. The Gold Shovel for the under 3 million population category was awarded to Kansas.
The top 10 projects for each state were included in the scoring process, and two projects that helped Nebraska finish near the top involved Nucor in Norfolk and Virdis Chemical in Columbus.
“Being recognized with a Silver Shovel award again shows that the Nebraska economy has stayed on the growth track,” said Nicole Sedlacek, CeCD, and NPPD Economic Development Manager. “When you see Nucor and Virdis able to expand their operations here, it shows that we are a place for both new and existing businesses to grow.”
Area Development’s annual Gold and Silver Shovel Awards recognize states for their achievements in attracting high-value-added investment projects that will create a significant number of new jobs in their communities. Area Development collected information from all 50 states about their top 10 job-creation and investment projects initiated in 2021. Based on a combination of weighted factors — including the number of new jobs to be created in relation to the state’s population, the combined dollar amount of the investments, the number of new facilities, and the diversity of industry represented — two states were awarded he first ever Platinum shovel awards for exceeding the standards set by the programs first 17 years. Five states achieving the highest weighted overall scores were awarded Area Development’s Gold Shovels in five population categories: 12+ million, 8+ to 12 million, 5+ to 8 million, 3+ to 5 million, and fewer than 3 million. Finally, runners-up in each of the above population categories were awarded Silver Shovels.