Nebraska Digs Up Another Economic Development Award
Silver Shovel Awarded to Cornhusker State

For the second time in 2019, Nebraska has been honored with an economic development award from a national publication.

On Tuesday, June 18, Nebraska was honored for the second time with the “Silver Shovel” award from Area Development magazine, with the previous award coming in 2007. The award recognizes states for their achievements in attracting high-value investment projects that will create a significant number of new jobs in their communities and states.

The Gold and Silver Shovel recognition is awarded to states that are ranked among the top in the nation for job creation, investment attraction and industry growth for the previous calendar year. For states with fewer than three million people, Nebraska was second in the country in Area Development’s rankings, trailing only Mississippi.

In total, nearly 1,500 new jobs and $2 billion worth of capital investment were created by Nebraska’s top ten projects to land the state near the top of the Area Development rankings. Ultimately, Nebraska has many reasons for its success, which Nebraska Department of Economic Development Director Dave Rippe attributes back to its people and workforce.

“Economic development doesn’t happen on its own—it’s about people,” Rippe says. “This award symbolizes the efforts of a countless number of talented, dedicated individuals and teams who work day in and day out to grow our state. Our ability to work together as a team and to rally around a mutual vision is what sets us apart from other states.”

Overall, Nebraska’s top 10 projects were spread out across the state, ranging from a Facebook data center in Papillion to food processing projects in Bloomfield, Fremont and South Sioux City to a wind farm expansion in Allen, among others.

Nebraska’s success was awarded earlier in March 2019, when Site Selection magazine crowned the state as a winner of their Governor’s Cup for the third consecutive year. Lincoln Chamber of Commerce President Wendy Birdsall remarked back in March that Lincoln and the state as a whole, have a lot to offer companies when they come calling to the Cornhusker State.

“Third party validation such as this, is invaluable to us and it goes a long way for us in trying to recruit other companies and employees to our state,” Birdsall said. “Awards like this are due to partnerships formed within the business community and with state and local governments that allow us all to succeed. Our people continue to make our workforce success possible.”

A full breakdown of the Area Development rankings, including criteria and expanded data about the qualifying projects can be found here.

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