Nebraska, as well as Texas, has won the 2016 Site Selection Governor’s Cup. This is the fourth year Site Selection has recognized Nebraska with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita, which the state claims for its capital investment activity in 2016. Texas wins for having the most qualified projects of any state.
Also winning an award for Top Metros and Micros was Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebraska-Iowa, among areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million. Sioux City, Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota, was first among areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000.
“This award is truly fitting for those professionals who are focused on economic development in Nebraska,” said Vice President Customer and Corporate Services Ken Curry. “That includes NPPD’s Economic Development team in Columbus, led by Economic Development Manager Mary Plettner, and our field consultants located throughout NPPD’s service territory. It’s also an outcome of the close working relationships and partnerships NPPD enjoys with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development, our wholesale customers, utility partners and local and regional economic development groups.”
In the per capita (per 1 million population) contest, Nebraska’s 101 projects allowed it to claim the Governor’s Cup over defending champ Kentucky, which finished second with 231 projects. In addition to placing highly in the traditional rankings, Ohio’s 515 projects gave it a third-place finish in the per capita race.
The Lone Star State’s 642-project finish for 2016 is down from its 701-project, first place finish last year, but is comfortably ahead of the runners-up in the traditional Governor’s Cup facilities race: Ohio is second with 515, followed by Illinois (434).
“Texas and Nebraska last shared this recognition in 2013, when the Governor’s Cup for per capita projects was introduced,” says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection. “Different governors were in office at the time, but Governors Abbott of Texas and Ricketts of Nebraska share their predecessors’ drive to make their states the best-in-class locations for capital investment. They and their economic development teams understand how to help businesses succeed, and projects associated with the 2016 Governor’s Cups are evidence of that.”
The Governor’s Cup is an award Gov. Pete Ricketts won’t relinquish easily. Ricketts says he wants to make Nebraska a low-cost state in which to do business. “My goal,” says Ricketts, “is to do tax relief every year I’m governor.”
Site Selection’s database used to select winners focused on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations and logistics sites, among others. It does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: (a) involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, (b) create at least 20 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858 sq. m.) of new floor area.
The March 2017 issue of Site Selection also features state rankings per capita by region. For 2016, Nebraska was a West North Central regional leader.
Site Selection is a 63-year-old Atlanta-based magazine that has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988, based on new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the proprietary Conway Projects Database. Site Selection, published by Conway Inc., is the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development fields and is the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council. Site Selection‘s yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as “the industry scoreboard.” The magazine’s circulation base consists of 48,000 subscribers, most of whom are involved in corporate site selection decisions at the CEO/president/COO level.