Award recognizes achievements in economic impact and job creation

NASHVILLE— Tennessee has once again ranked among the best states in economic development by Area Development, a leading publication focused on site selection and facility planning. The Volunteer State along with five other states – California, Nevada, Ohio, South Carolina and Utah – are recipients of the magazine’s 2016 Gold Shovel Award in recognition of projects undertaken in 2015 creating a significant number of high-value-added new jobs as well as investment. 

This is the second consecutive year Tennessee has received a Gold Shovel Award. In addition to 2015, the state also received Gold Shovels in 2012 and 2009, and Silver Shovels in 2011 and 2010.

“This award demonstrates the focus our state places on supporting existing industry growth as well as recruiting new projects which ultimately create high quality jobs for Team Tennessee,” TNECD Commissioner Randy Boyd said. “We thank Area Development for recognizing our efforts as a state in economic development and are grateful to be awarded with a 2016 Gold Shovel.”

The top projects that made Tennessee a Gold Shovel winner include:

  • Advanced Munitions International
  • Aegis Sciences Corporation
  • Community Health Systems
  • DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee, Inc.
  • FICOSA North America
  • Gestamp Corporation
  • Lifetime Products, Inc.
  • Morgan Olson
  • Nissan North America, Inc.
  • Ryder Supply Chain Solutions 

Area Development’s Annual Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers as well as investments in expanded facilities. The Gold Shovels are presented annually to states that have achieved the most success in terms of new job creation and economic impact. States are compared only to others in their population tier.

“The states and their communities receiving 2016 Shovel Awards not only have the right combination of factors to attract and retain business, they also display a pro-business attitude and marketing savvy,” Geraldine Gamble, editor of Area Development, said. “They deserve to be recognized for winning high-impact economic development projects.”

A report on the 2016 Shovel Award winners is published in the Q2/2016 issue of Area Development and posted online at

About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development

The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies which help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Team Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment in Tennessee and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Tennessee is the only three-time winner of “State of the Year” for economic development by Business Facilities magazine. Find us on the web: Follow us on Twitter: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook:



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