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From Site Selection magazine, May 2022
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Top Economic Development Groups

Named for Conway Data Founder Mac Conway, these awards recognize the efforts of those who worked tirelessly to bring projects large and small to their communities.

BEST TO INVEST
by Mark Arend
T

he economic development organizations profiled in the following pages are being recognized for contributing significantly to their locations’ investment attraction and job creation success in 2021. Named for Conway Data Founder Mac Conway, whose influence on the nascent economic development industry helped make it a key location differentiator, these awards recognize the efforts of those who worked tirelessly to bring projects large and small to their communities. They succeeded in differentiating their cities and towns from others that may have landed the capital investment projects, especially in a challenging economic climate.

Whether expansions of existing facilities or greenfield plants, local investment or foreign direct investment, cutting-edge industry or heritage, every project these agencies worked on helped increase the prosperity of the locations in which new projects are now happening. That’s the mission Mac Conway began championing many decades ago, and it is work being honored with the Mac Conway Awards for Excellence in Economic Development.

Winning agencies are determined by an index of corporate facility investment as tracked by Site Selection’s proprietary Conway Projects database. Scores are awarded based on six criteria: total projects, total investment and total jobs associated with those projects. Three more criteria are per capita versions of those same metrics. We salute these agencies — specifically their leadership and staff — for their professionalism and commitment to job creation in their communities.

OPPORTUNITY AUSTIN

Gary Farmer
Chair

opportunityaustin.com

Significant Projects:

Samsung Electronics (Electronics), Chem-Energy Corp. (Chemicals), Applied Materials (Electronics), Amazon.com (Retail), Shop LC Global (Jewelry), Encore Medical (Surgical Supplies), Line 204 (Machinery), Cangshan Cutlery Co. (Metals), Goodblend Texas (Pharmaceuticals), Ovivo USA (Machinery)

Programs and Initiatives:

The Austin Chamber/Opportunity Austin advocates for policies preserving funding for education and incentives for schools that produce more college-, career- and military-ready graduates. It supported passage of SB 1102/ HB 3003 Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) legislation to help more students complete short-term industry credentials or training for in demand jobs, HB 3348 allowing Austin Community College to offer an additional bachelor’s degree in a high demand field, and HB 3767 supporting tri-agency alignment of education and workforce development with workforce needs.

SAVANNAH ECONOMIC
DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY

Trip Tollison
President and CEO

seda.org

Significant Projects:

Amazon.com (Retail), Kat-5 STUDIOS (Video Production), Celadon Development (Pulp Mills), Igneo Technologies (Recyclable Material), Lineage Logistics Holdings (Logistics), Webstaurantstore.com (Restaurant Equipment), Nantenergy, Inc. / NANTRenewables / Nantworks, LLC (Plastics), Orchard Yarn and Thread Co. (Textiles), Fabtech Industries (Auto Parts), Mainocean (Logistics)

Programs and Initiatives:

The Savannah Technology Workforce Incentive, created in May 2020, reimburses individual moving expenses up to $2,000 for qualified technology workers currently located outside of Savannah. The offering is part of a SEDA initiative to continue boosting the region’s technology industry, which includes Fortune 500 companies, international employers and a host of headquarter locations that are innovating in areas including health care tech, aerospace and advanced manufacturing. SEDA supports the Savannah Logistics Technology Center to fully leverage state designation and to activate the growth of high-wage technology-related jobs in the region.

SOUTHWEST LOUISIANA
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
ALLIANCE

George Swift
Chair

opportunityaustin.com

Significant Projects:

Venture Global LNG (Gas), SASOL (Chemicals), Louisiana Integrated Polyethylene JV (Chemicals), Phillips 66 (Refinery), KIK Consumer Products / BIO-LAB (Chemicals), Canfor Southern Pine (Wood Products), Westlake Chemical Corp. (Petrochemicals), W. R. Grace & Co.-Conn. (Chemicals), Indorama Ventures Olefins (Petrochemicals), Sabine Pass Liquefaction (Gas)

Programs and Initiatives:

The SWLA Alliance Foundation promotes and enhances the economic development and quality of life for the Southwest Louisiana region. It funds programs and projects focused on workforce development, economic development, and encouraging entrepreneurship. Alliance professionals meet with business owners and leaders in our community to ascertain current and future needs. Its Workforce Training Guide offers training and development to recent high school graduates and the underemployed in our region.The Alliance works with site selectors and LED to recruit new businesses to Southwest Louisiana.

CHARLESTON REGIONAL
DEVELOPMENT ALLIANCE

David T. Ginn
President & CEO

crda.org

Significant Projects:

Google (Data Processing), Volvo Car USA / AB Volvo (Automobiles), Mainstream Pine Products (Chemicals), Century Aluminum Co. (Metals), Mercedes-Benz Vans (Automobiles), Interfor Corp. (Sawmill), Ray-Mont Logistiques Montréal (Logistics), Southern Current (HVAC), Barzan Aeronautical (Software), Cummins (Auto Parts)

Programs and Initiatives:

CRDA provides a full range of site selection assistance, including access to local and state officials, workforce and labor experts, real estate professionals, land and building owners, utilities, colleges and universities, the financial and legal communities, local corporate executives, and other resources. It provides concise executive briefings and customized tours of the region, including pre-arranged meetings with relevant officials and resource providers. Site selectors receive comprehensive information on available sites and buildings, including site maps, utilities, rail and highway infrastructure, pricing and relevant details, as well as visits to potential sites and buildings.

OPPORTUNITY AUSTIN

Gary Farmer
Chair

opportunityaustin.com

Significant Projects:

Samsung Electronics (Electronics), Chem-Energy Corp. (Chemicals), Applied Materials (Electronics), Amazon.com (Retail), Shop LC Global (Jewelry), Encore Medical (Surgical Supplies), Line 204 (Machinery), Cangshan Cutlery Co. (Metals), Goodblend Texas (Pharmaceuticals), Ovivo USA (Machinery)

Programs and Initiatives:

The Austin Chamber/Opportunity Austin advocates for policies preserving funding for education and incentives for schools that produce more college-, career- and military-ready graduates. It supported passage of SB 1102/ HB 3003 Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education (TRUE) legislation to help more students complete short-term industry credentials or training for in demand jobs, HB 3348 allowing Austin Community College to offer an additional bachelor’s degree in a high demand field, and HB 3767 supporting tri-agency alignment of education and workforce development with workforce needs.

FORWARD SIOUX FALLS

Mike Lynch
Executive Director

forwardsiouxfalls.com

Significant Projects:

CJ Foods USA (Food Products), Wholestone Farms Cooperative (Meats), Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (Measuring Instruments), Fedex (Logistics), Capital Card Services (Financial Services), Nordica Warehouses (Logistics), Graco (Measuring Instruments), Smithfield Foods (Food Products), Grand Prairie Foods (Food Products)

Programs and Initiatives:

Forward Sioux Falls campaign promotes the Young Professionals Network and works with K-12 and post-secondary institutions to actively draft and retain talent. It connects with existing businesses to understand and help them respond to their needs, engage targeted industries and international trade programs that utilize the South Dakota Small Business Development Center, GOED and US Department of Commerce to market to potential companies for importing and exporting goods. It also funds the Zeal Center for Entrepreneurship and USD’s Discovery District, targeting bioscience firms and start-ups.

NASHVILLE CHAMBER
OF COMMERCE

Ralph Schulz
President & CEO

nashvillechamber.com

Significant Projects:

Royal Canin U.S.A. (Pet Food), Mars Petcare US (Pet Food), Puritan Medical Products Co. (Surgical Supplies), Marque of Brands Americas (Electronics), Chewy (Pet Food), Thermo Fisher Scientific (Laboratory Instruments), The Gap (Clothing), General Mills (Food Products), Vi-Jon (Plastics), Martinrea International (Auto Parts)

Programs and Initiatives:

The Nashville Chamber’s Economic Development team assists relocating and existing businesses with incentive evaluation and offers a searchable database of available industrial buildings, office buildings and greenfield sites in the 10-county Nashville Economic Market to relocating and expanding firms. The Chamber’s long-term economic development strategy has identified five target industries that drive Middle Tennessee’s economy and provide a concentrated focus for strategically growing the region: health care, corporate operations, advanced manufacturing, supply chain management, and music and entertainment.

INDY CHAMBER

Michael Huber
President & CEO

indychamber.com

Significant Projects:

Danone US (Food Products), Stevanato Group (Medical Instruments), List Biotherapeutics (Biological Products), Greenleaf Foods (Food Products), Five Below (Retail), XPO Logistics / Apple Inc. (Electronics), Cargill Kitchen Solutions (Food Products), Deckers Outdoor Corp. (Textiles), Exelead (Pharmaceuticals), Genezen Laboratories (Biological Products)

Programs and Initiatives:

Accelerate Indy is a strategy to advance the Indy region as the top market in the Midwest. The second phase of Accelerate Indy will enable the region to remain competitive and ultimately surpass its peer markets of Charlotte, Columbus (OH), Denver, and Nashville. Regional collaboration is critical to advancing the Chamber, businesses, communities, and the nine-county region, and will be approached through a framework of four pillars: talent, image, business, and place.

GREATER PHOENIX
ECONOMIC COUNCIL

Chris Camacho
President & CEO

gpec.org

Significant Projects:

Intel (Electonics), Facebook (Data Processing), Kore Power (Primary Battery), Microsoft (Data Processing), Kohler Co. (Wood Products), Top Aces Corp. (Flight Training), Amazon.com (Retail), Ragingwire Data Center (Data Processing), Ball Corp. (Metals), Compass Datacenters. (Data Processing)

Programs and Initiatives:

GPEC’s services include site selection assistance to strategically assess the availability and cost of skilled labor, evaluate supply chain considerations, and visualize the benefits of the region’s proximity to other major markets and consumers. Consideration is given to transportation and infrastructure needs, energy costs and more. Additional services include economic impact analysis and reporting, connectivity to key resources, and introductions to business leaders and regional and state authorities.

BATON ROUGE AREA
CHAMBER

Adam Knapp
President & CEO

brac.org

Significant Projects:

Air Products and Chemicals (Chemicals), Shintech Louisiana (Chemicals), BASF Corp. (Chemicals), Rubicon (Petrochemicals), Exxon Mobil (Refinery), Amazon.com (Retail), Honeywell International (Chemicals), Weyerhaeuser (Wood Products), Syngenta Crop Protection (Chemicals), Shell Catalysts & Technologies (Chemicals)

Programs and Initiatives:

BRAC’s BRING IT! strategy identifies the region’s opportunities and charts a path to put Baton Rouge among the leading economies in the country. Developed with Ernst & Young through extensive planning that included stakeholder input, quantitative data analysis, benchmarking against 40 peer U.S. regions, and community surveying, the BRING IT! strategy elevates four big goals: bolstering the region’s talent pipeline, diversifying the industry base and job opportunities, creating a more inclusive economy and enhancing the region’s livability.

BOWLING GREEN AREA
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Ron Bunch
President & CEO

bgchamber.com

Significant Projects:

Tyson Foods (Meat), Ball Corp. (Metals), Holley Performance Products (Engines), Fruit of The Loom (Clothings), Bilstein Cold Rolled Steel (Steel), Fruehauf Trailer Corp. (Trailers), Trace Die Cast (Metals), Harbor Steel and Supply Corp. (Metals), Material Handling Systems (Machinery), Delta Faucet Co. (Plastics)

Programs and Initiatives:

SCK LAUNCH is a partnership between the Bowling Green Area Chamber Foundation, the Bowling Green Independent School District, Warren County Public Schools and local businesses to ensure the area’s future public school graduates succeed in their careers. It will provide young people a wealth of knowledge about engaging careers in the area. Through the application of FranklinCovey principles of leadership, students will build the work ethic foundation employers are seeking. SCK LAUNCH stresses industry certifications so high school students can earn a postsecondary credential upon graduation resulting in higher degree attainment in our area.

RESEARCH TRIANGLE
REGIONAL PARTNERSHIP

Ryan Combs
Executive Director

researchtriangle.org

Significant Projects:

Biogen (Pharmaceuticals), Carsgen Therapeutics (Biological Products), Jaguar Gene Therapy (Biological Products), Adverum Biotechnologies (Biological Products), Pfizer (Pharmaceuticals), Poly-Wood (Household Furniture), Smart Wires (Electronics), Life Science Logistics (Logistics), Meel Corp. (Food Products), Carolina Coops (Wire Products)

Programs and Initiatives:

The Research Triangle Regional Partnership is an economic development organization sustained by and committed to 12 core counties located in Central North Carolina. It serves as a connector between businesses looking to expand or relocate, and the economic development offices, government agencies, and business organizations that support private sector growth. Target industries in the Research Triangle Region include advanced manufacturing, ag tech, clean tech, life sciences and technology.

GREATER SCRANTON
CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Bob Durkin
President

scrantonchamber.com

Significant Projects:

Nacero (Chemicals), Chewy (Pet Products), Hmtx Industries (Plastics), Nexii Building Solutions (Metals), Re-Match A/S (Recyclable Materials), Amapharm GmbH (Pharmaceuticals), ByHeart (Dairy Products), Patton Warehousing (Logistics), R. J. Schinner Co. (Paper)

Programs and Initiatives:

Economic development activities are implemented by The Scranton Plan, the marketing affiliate of the Chamber. Built on business attraction, sustainment and growth, the mission of The Scranton Plan is to create and retain jobs for Lackawanna County. With the help of two additional Chamber affiliates, the Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company (SLIBCO) and the Lackawanna Industrial Fund Enterprises (LIFE), The Scranton Plan is the driving force behind job creation and retention in Lackawanna County. Supporting relocating and expanding businesses, The Scranton Plan serves as a community development partner throughout the entire site selection process.

GREATER RICHMOND PARTNERSHIP

Jennifer Wakefield
President & CEO

grpva.com

Significant Projects:

Costar Group (Business Services), Qts Realty Trust (Data Processing), Nestle Purina Petcare (Chemicals), Civica (Pharmaceuticals), Mondelez International (Food Products), Chirisa Df Corp (Data Processing), Service Center Metals (Metals), Performance Food Group (Food Products), Cartograf, S.A. de C.V. (Paper Products), Lowe’s Companies (Retail)

Programs and Initiatives:

The GRP helps companies evaluate locations within the region in a confidential, objective manner, serving as the region’s single point of contact for business location or expansion. It helps companies narrow their location selection for everything from a manufacturing operation to the perfect site for the latest biotech research facility. In addition, it facilitates introductions to key government, education and private partners at the local and state level; provides business intelligence information on demographics, labor availability, transportation, taxes, cost of living comparisons, education and more; is a resource for companies interested in evaluating financial incentives, grants, revenue bonds and other support; and helps coordinate involvement with appropriate educational institutions, the Community College Workforce Alliance and staffing agencies.

ONESPARTANBURG INC. // UPSTATE ALLIANCE

ONESPARTANBURG INC. Allen Smith
President & CEO

onespartanburginc.com

UPSTATE ALLIANCE John Lummus
President & CEO

upstatescalliance.com

Significant Projects:

Walmart (Retail), Oshkosh Defense (Machinery), Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (Electronics), Pall Corp. (Biological Product (except Diagnostic) Manufacturing), Auria Solutions USA (Auto Parts), GML Industries (Electronics), Mp Cloud Technologies / Emtech (Custom Computer Programming Services), CNC Cabinetry (Wood Products), Techtronic Industries North America / One World Technologies (Hardware)

Programs and Initiatives:

Spartanburg 101, presented by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System, provides information and experiences to those wishing to become well-informed members of the Spartanburg community. During three interactive sessions, participants engage in community development efforts, hear from community leaders, discover Spartanburg’s economic drivers, and learn about arts, cultural and recreational amenities. The Upstate SC Alliance provides key services to companies and site selectors who are exploring opportunities for launching new business operations in the U.S. These include providing relevant and customized data and access to databases and other resources, site searches and community tours and supporting international companies in the region.

ELIZABETHTOWN HARDIN COUNTY
INDUSTRIAL FOUNDATION

Richard A. Games
President and COO

eifky.org

Significant Projects:

Ford Motor Company / SK innovation Co. (Batteries), Kruger / Kruger Packaging (Paper Products), W.L. Plastics Corp. (Plastics), Fischbach USA (Plastics), Metalsa, S.A. De C.V. (Auto Parts)

Programs and Initiatives:

The Foundation works with several local entities to provide companies the workforce and other resources they require, including the following: Elizabethtown Community and Technical College provides a wide range of certificate and degree programs as well as customized business and industry training. One such way is through the Workforce Solutions Mobile Training Unit — a bus with up to 16 workstations to provide on-site training when it’s most convenient for businesses. The Lincoln Trail Workforce Development Board and the Kentucky Career Center — Lincoln Trail offer job skills training and facilitate funding for customized skills training including on-the-job training. The Kentucky Federation of Manufacturing Education — Lincoln Trail Chapter, provides apprenticeship-style training in partnership with local manufacturers.

LOUISVILLE FORWARD // GREATER LOUISVILLE INC.

LOUISVILLE FORWARD
Jeff O’Brien
Chief

louisvilleky.gov

GREATER LOUISVILLE INC.
Sarah Davasher-Wisdom
President & CEO

greaterlouisville.com

Significant Projects:

Haier US Appliance Solutions (Appliances), Global Brass and Copper (Metals), House Foods America Corp. (Food Products), Brown-Forman Corp. (Distillery), Kentuckiana Curb Co. (Metals), R.C. Bigelow (Food Products), Paccar Parts (Auto Parts), Republic National Distributing Co. (Distillery), Northwest Ordinance Distilling (Distillery), Global Rollforming Corp. (Metals)

Programs and Initiatives:

Louisville Forward assists companies with Kentucky’s jobs incentive programs, as well as local and state Tax Increment Financing. Assistance is available in the areas of Tax-based Incentives, Workforce Development and Training Incentives, Property Redevelopment Incentives and Sustainability Incentives. TechFirst, an initiative of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI), is a collaborative of top-level industry leadership in tech and tech-related companies that come together to share best practices and engage to support, inform, and develop meaningful growth initiatives within the region’s technology industry. Its mission is to support and grow Greater Louisville’s technology eco-system through the development of talent pipelines, a strong innovation culture, and resources.

INVEST ATLANTA // METRO ATLANTA CHAMBER

INVEST ATLANTA
Dr. Eloisa Klementich
President & CEO

investatlanta.com

METRO ATLANTA CHAMBER
Katie Kirkpatrick
President & CEO

metroatlantachamber.com

Significant Projects:

Rivian Automotive (Automobiles), Server Maintenance (Data Processing), Norfolk Southern (Logistics), Intuitive Surgical (Medical Instrurments), SKC Co. (Glass Products), Microsoft (Data Processing), Google (Software), Blackhall Studios (Motion Pictures), Thyssenkrupp Elevator Corp. (Elevators), Cleanspark (Data Proecssing)

Programs and Initiatives:

Invest Atlanta provides site selection consulting services and assistance with business programs and incentives, including Industrial Revenue and Lease Purchase Bonds, the Economic Opportunity Fund and Opportunity Zone Tax Credits. WorkSource Atlanta helps businesses recruit qualified employees, develop a workforce equipped with relevant skills through customized job-based training programs, and up-skill their current workforce. The Metro Atlanta Chamber provides a full suite of site selection and relocation services, including custom market research, talent availability and metrics, regulatory facilitation and education and R&D resources.

REDI CINCINNATI // NORTHERN KENTUCKY TRI-ED

REDI CINCINNATI
Kimm Lauterbach
President & CEO

redicincinnati.com

NORTHERN KENTUCKY TRI-ED
Lee Crume
President & CEO

northernkentuckyusa.com

Significant Projects:

GE Aviation Systems (Aerospace), Koch Foods (Foods), Nucor Tubular Products (Metals), Diversey Holdings (Chemicals), Global Mail (Logistics), SHAPE CORP. / Magnode (Metals), General Mills (Foods), Freestore Foodbank (Foods), Carl Zeiss Vision (Optical Instruments)

Programs and Initiatives:

REDI Cincinnati’s Business Retention and Expansion program addresses challenges, plans and goals of local companies and identifies areas where local, state or federal resources may be available to assist companies. REDI Cincinnati can also help answer questions regarding the region’s two Foreign Trade Zones (FTZs). The Northern Kentucky Tri-ED) announced the launch in February of the Build + Elevate NKY economic growth plan to fund four initiatives and make Tri-ED a private/public funded company. In 2022, with funding from the Build + Elevate NKY campaign, Tri-ED will undertake four key initiatives in addition to its core economic development work: Data-Informed Community Decision-Making, Activate the Northern Kentucky Port Authority, Deliver Customized Workforce Solutions and Targeted Business Growth.

ONE COLUMBUS

Matt McCollister
Senior Vice President, Economic Development

columbusregion.com

Significant Projects:

Google (Data Processing), Table Mountain Industries (Data Processing), Magellan Enterprises (Data Processing), Amgen (Biological Products), Amazon.com (Retail), Bath & Body Works Direct (Clothings), American Nitrile (Rubber Products), Knowlton Development (Plastic Products), Post Holdings / Michael Foods (Food Products), Comet Processing (Retail)

Programs and Initiatives:

SiteOhio a is site selection evaluation program of sites that are ready for immediate development on day one. A Revitalization Program offers loans and grants to companies to redevelop underutilized properties — both land and buildings — and put them back into productive use. The Ohio Site Inventory Program offers grant and low-interest loans to support speculative site and building development projects with no identified end user. The R&D Center Grant was created to facilitate new strategic corporate R&D centers in Ohio that will support the development and commercialization of emerging technologies and/or products.

GREENVILLE AREA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION // UPSTATE ALLIANCE

GREENVILLE AREA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
J. Mark Farris
President & CEO

greenvilleeconomicdevelopment.com

UPSTATE ALLIANCE
John Lummus
President & CEO

upstatescalliance.com

Significant Projects:

ZF Friedrichshafen AG (Auto Parts), Arthrex (Medical Instruments), BMW Manufacturing Co. (Auto Parts), TTI Floor Care North America (Floor Products), Proterra (Automobiles), PREGIS (Foam Products), Glen Raven (Textiles), CVB (Home Furnishings), The Malouf Co. (Home Furnishings), United Community Banks (Commercial Banking)

Programs and Initiatives:

GADC works with business executives, site selection consultants, community leaders, government agencies, and others to accelerate growth and further critical objectives. These include generating new business, jobs, and investment; promoting and supporting infrastructure development; retaining and growing existing businesses, jobs, and investment and marketing Greenville County to key audiences. The Upstate SC Alliance provides key services to companies and site selectors who are exploring opportunities for launching new business operations in the U.S. These include providing relevant and customized data and access to databases and other resources, site searches and community tours and supporting international companies in the region.

Mark Arend
Editor in Chief of Site Selection magazine

Mark Arend

Mark Arend has been editor in chief of Site Selection magazine since 2001. Prior to joining the editorial staff in 1997, he worked for 10 years in New York City at Wall Street Computer Review, ABA Banking Journal and Global Investment Technology. Mark graduated from the University of Hartford (Conn.) in 1985 and lives near Atlanta, Georgia.

 



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