From the September Issue


Seven Signs of a New Site Selection Reality

From reshoring and remote work to the rural rebound, COVID-19 changed the landscape.

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From the September Issue


Queensland: A State of High Performance

In approximately 3,800 days, the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games will come to Brisbane and the state of Queensland, Australia. Company leaders from a range of industries tell Site Selection why Queensland is the perfect location right now for their growing operations.

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The Milton S. Eisenhower Library and the Beach at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland
Photo courtesy of Johns Hopkins

Two days after Christmas, the National Science Foundation’s National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES) released FY2020 data from its annual Higher Education Research and Development (HERD) Survey showing an increase in academic institution spending of $2.7 billion to $86.4 billion, representing a 3% increase from FY2019, the lowest increase since FY2015.

Below is the survey’s list of the top 30 institutions for R&D expenditures, led by Johns Hopkins University. California accounts for three of the top even and five of the top 30, while Pennsylvania and New York come in with three apiece. The top 30 institutions accounted for 42% of total R&D spend in the higher education sector in FY2020. A total of 21 institutions reported at least $1 billion in R&D, up from 14 in FY2018. And 26 of the 30 had medical schools.

Among upward movers the strongest was Texas A&M University, College Station and Health Science Center, which rose eight positions to No. 14 “due in part to a substantial contract with HHS for its Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) to provide for delivery of a safe and effective vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic,” the HERD team explained in a release. “CIADM was part of Operation Warp Speed. In part due to these activities, Texas A&M University’s expenditures funded through received subawards increased by $138 million in FY 2020. Their expenditures passed through to subrecipients also increased in FY 2020 by $150 million.” The next-strongest upward mover was Georgia Tech at 9.3% (see below).

The survey also collected data on R&D personnel from the 655 institutions reporting at least $1 million in R&D, tallying headcounts of researchers, R&D technicians and R&D support staff.Across the three functions, an estimated 956,000 university personnel accounted for 440,000 R&D-performing FTEs (full-time equivalents). — Adam Bruns

Data courtesy of National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, Higher Education Research and Development Survey, National Science Foundation




Go on the Offensive

In an exclusive contribution, two experts from Cresa describe how to make your hybrid workplace policy a competitive advantage.

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From the September Issue


Rebuilding the Construction Workforce in a Post-Pandemic Boom

Evelyn Long of the National Center for Construction Education & Research describes how to handle the coming rebound in construction activity.

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Follow the Science

Key innovations and new technologies point back to Georgia universities.

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From the September Issue


Poised for Flight

Georgia’s vaunted aerospace industry is moving at the speed of sound.

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After receiving permits last March, this long-simmering rare earths mining project (rare earths were first detected at the location a decade ago) is set to move forward in La Paz, located 105 miles northwest of Phoenix. “With a contiguous footprint of over 218 federal lode mining claims over approximately 4,503 acres plus an Arizona state exploration permit for 640 acres, the increasing energy surrounding the La Paz Rare Earths Project has resulted in an assemblage that has the potential to be the largest rare earths project in North America,” says the website of the project, which is being pursued by American Rare Earths Ltd. (ARR, based in Australia). The full acreage and considerable surrounding area lie fully in an Opportunity Zone and a New Market Tax Credit Zone. The company projects hiring 75 at a Phoenix HQ, more than 100 for a material processing plant and more than 200 at the mine itself. The company last year also acquired a second U.S. rare earths asset, the Searchlight Rare Earths project in Nevada, and then a third, the Halleck Creek project in Wyoming.

Source: Conway Analytics


This project is one of several being pursued in St. Cloud by AWG, the Kansas City, Kansas-based cooperative that is the largest independent grocery store supplier in the U.S. It will serve St. Cloud-based Coborn’s and other member stores in the upper Midwest. According to reports, this facility could expand to as much as 500,000 sq. ft. of demand warrants. AWG’s other projects in the region include a dry goods warehouse in the I-94 Business Park (at a location formerly occupied by Creative Memories) and a new fresh-and-frozen facility just to the south of that location, between I-94 and the Mississippi River. AWG serves over 1,100 member companies and over 3,100 locations throughout 28 states from eight full-line wholesale divisions. The consolidated sales for AWG are approximately $10.6 billion.

Source: Conway Analytics



Transactional data compiled for the annual U-Haul Growth Index shows Texas narrowly beating out Florida for net gain in one-way U-Haul trucks in 2021. Tennessee, South Carolina and Arizona round out the top five. Migration trends data is compiled from well over 2 million one-way U-Haul truck customer transactions that occur annually. California is 50th and Illinois 49th on the list for the second consecutive year, “indicating those states once again witnessed the largest net losses of one-way U-Haul trucks,” said U-Haul, before piling on with an additional observation: “California remained the top state for out-migration, but its net loss of U-Haul trucks wasn’t as severe as in 2020. That can be partially attributed to the fact that U-Haul simply ran out of inventory to meet customer demand for outbound equipment.”

“We see a lot of growth coming from the East and West Coast,” said U-Haul Area District Vice President of the Dallas Fort-Worth Metroplex and West Texas Matt Merrill. “A lot of people moving here from California (and) New York. We also see a lot of people coming in from the Chicago markets. I think that’s a lot due to the job growth — a lot of opportunity here. The cost of living here is much lower than those areas. Texas is open for business.”

The top 10 also include big upward moves from such states as Maine, Idaho and New Mexico, perhaps indicating a pandemic-fueled appetite for wide open spaces as much as new job opportunities. — Adam Bruns

2021 Top U-Haul Growth States (2020 Rank in Parentheses)

  1. Texas (2)
  2. Florida (3)
  3. Tennessee (1)
  4. South Carolina (15)
  5. Arizona (5)
  6. Indiana (12)
  7. Colorado (6)
  8. Maine (29)
  9. Idaho (30)
  10. New Mexico (39)


Photo courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol

This image of the U.S. Capitol framed by snow-covered trees is from the website of the Architect of the Capitol. The U.S Congress first met in the building on November 17, 1800. The U.S. Capitol Building is located in a 58-acre park originally landscaped by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1874 that was named an accredited arboretum in 2017. The Capitol campus is made up of more than 18.4 million sq. ft. of facilities, and 570 acres of grounds.