ne of the privileges of being governor of a highly successful state in the economic development arena is being recognized for that success with an award like the Governor’s Cups. Regular readers know these Cups honor the states — and their governors — that attracted the most qualified capital investment projects the previous calendar year in total and per capita. This year, we salute Governors Greg Abbott of Texas and Laura Kelly of Kansas, who both were the Cup recipients last year. This is Texas’ 11th consecutive win for total projects for new and expanding projects in 2022. Governor Kelly claims Kansas’ second consecutive win for total projects per capita. Learn more about how they did this in the Cover Story in this issue.
In recent weeks I also interviewed Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear for that state’s annual Investment Guide that our Custom Content division has published for several years. A common thread runs through my discussions with these and other governors honored with our annual Governor’s Cups in the past. I believe to a person, they have made a point to share credit with their legislatures for enabling them to implement measures that capture the attention of corporate investors.
Kansas’ APEX package of incentives, for example, helped land that state’s largest investment ever (Panasonic Energy in De Soto) in 2022, which was followed earlier this year by its second largest (Integra Technologies in Wichita). Similarly, the Texas Enterprise Fund has worked rather well for Governor Abbott and his predecessors when it comes time to close deals that might well have gone elsewhere.
My point is that without the legislators, or enough of them, agreeing to craft APEX and TEF and many other such programs around the country, how well could their states compete for the industry and projects that create so many jobs? It’s around that point where political differences tend to subside and the good of the state is put first. Governor Beshear was adamant that readers of that interview understand that in his state, there is no room for politics when it comes to economic development.
I commend the winning governors who make a point of sharing credit with their legislators who helped them and their states be successful. Some credit, too, goes to the regions, metros and micropolitans that attracted investment on their own, or closed the deal after the state brought a prospect to them. You’ll find our annual rankings of those communities in this issue too.
Governors and location experts alike will never go wrong giving credit where it’s due.
Till next time,
Mark Arend, Editor in Chief