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Business and Community Development Newsroom

Posted on: June 29, 2010

Kansas awarded Silver Shovel Award by Area Development for job creation, investment

For the fourth time in five years, Area Development magazine has named Kansas a winner of the Silver Shovel Award for excellence in job creation and capital investment.

The award is part of the magazine’s 2010 Golden & Silver Shovel Awards, which recognize states that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers and investments in expanded facilities.

Silver Shovels are awarded to 10 states in three population categories: “Over 10 million,” “5-10 Million” and “Under Five Million.” Kansas was recognized in the latter group, along with Louisiana, South Carolina and Alabama. A single Gold Shovel Award was presented to the nation’s highest performing state - New York.

“This award is just another example of how Kansas is one of the best states in the nation for business,” said Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson. “Even during a recession, we were able to pass job-creating policies, including a new 10-year transportation plan, that invest in our infrastructure and our economy. We’re excited to build on this success as we continue on the road to recovery.”

All 50 states were invited by Area Development to submit information about their top job creation and investment projects. Only those projects that began to materialize in 2009 were considered. A full review of this year’s Gold & Silver Shovel Award winners will be published in the June/July 2010 issue of Area Development and is currently online at

In 2009, the Kansas Department of Commerce was involved in 58 successful recruitment projects in which Kansas was competing with at least one other state. Those projects totaled 11,888 new jobs and $685.2 million in capital investment. The Department was also involved in 141 expansion/retention projects with existing Kansas businesses, totaling 21,600 new or retained jobs and $1.37 billion in capital investment. Projects highlighted in the Area Development article include: a $24 million distribution center by Home Depot in Topeka, creating 300 jobs; a $300 million expansion by Spirit Aerospace in Wichita, creating 700 new jobs; a $21 million new facility constructed by US Bank in Overland Park, creating 1,200 new jobs; and the retooling of GM’s Kansas City plant, which is expected to create nearly 1,300 jobs.

Area Development is leading executive magazine covering site selection and facility planning. The magazine is published bi-monthly and has more than 45,000 subscribers. Visit for details.

The Silver Shovel is the second major media accolade bestowed on Kansas in the past two months. In May, Kansas was named one of the nation’s 10 most competitive states for capital investment and new facility development by Site Selection magazine, a leading publication for site location consultants.

For more information, contact Joe Monaco, Public Information Officer with the Kansas Department of Commerce, at (785) 296-3760 or


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