etermined by an index of corporate facility investment as tracked by Site Selection’s proprietary Conway Projects database, we present the winners of the 2023 Mac Conway Award, named for the founder of Site Selection who celebrated the importance of regional economic development groups to better business climates, better jobs and a better future.
Scores are awarded based on six criteria: total projects, total investment and total jobs associated with those corporate facility projects in 2022, and per capita calculations of those same three metrics. (Honorees are arranged alphabetically by organization name.)
President & CEO
Cvmr (metals); Producer Owned Beef; Tyson Foods; A-7 Austin; Albers Group (aerospace); Jax Transportation
With the slogan “in the middle of everywhere,” the area economy is led by such sectors as aviation and aerospace; food processing; value-added agriculture; bioscience; energy; logistics; and manufacturing. A new job matching software, Job Up, was incorporated into the Take Root In Amarillo website, allowing employers and job seekers to be matched with one another anonymously based on skills and preferences. In addition, says the group’s annual report, 30 interns from 17 companies participated in the third annual Uncover Amarillo: Intern Experience, which earned the group a Workforce Excellence Award from the Texas Economic Development Council. The group’s annual report notes projects from 2022 are receiving $2.3 billion in capital investment and are anticipated to create 3,425 new jobs and $205 million in payroll. Outside the scope of AEDC, Amarillo College this spring was one of two institutions in the nation to earn the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.
President & CEO
Envision AESC; Hill’s Pet Nutrition; O-I Glass; Android Industries; General Motors; Kobe Aluminum Automotive Products, Element Materials Technology
With 13 projects the region ranked No. 2 in the nation among our Tier-3 Top Metros and No. 4 per capita. For 38 years the Chamber has presented a Small Business Person of the Year award, which this year went to Bosnian immigrant Sasa Mandrapa of successful restaurant chain Burger & Bowl. “The contribution of small businesses is invaluable to the Chamber’s partnership, accounting for more than 85 percent of our collaborative efforts,” said Chamber President and CEO Ron Bunch. Collaboration with a number of stakeholders including the South Central Workforce Development Board resulted in the August 2022 launch of a new Warren Counthy program that will train and certify local residents interested in heavy equipment operation as a career. The Chamber continues to lead and collaborate on programs such as SCK Launch for youth workforce development, BG Young Professionals and Leadership Bowling Green.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Micron; Anheuser-Busch; Globe Grinding Corp.; Dunn Tire; J.W Didado Electric; Sivana Converting; Armoured One; Anoplate Corp.
“The economic trajectory of our region changed when Micron Technology, Inc. announced Central New York’s White Pine site will become home to its semiconductor manufacturing facility - the largest private investment ever made in New York state history, and one of the largest industrial manufacturing investments in the history of the United States,” says Robert Simpson. “I am very proud that CenterState CEO’s work as part of negotiation efforts with Micron ensured the company’s $500 million Community Investment Framework for Central New York was included in this transformative deal. It is a gratifying validation of CenterState CEO-led regional strategies and initiatives, as the Community Investment Framework will require our community to scale the effective and creative workforce development solutions we have collaboratively led for several years. The commitments related to housing and transportation reinforce CenterState CEO’s policy positions on smart growth and I-81. Micron’s commitment also focuses on how socially and economically disadvantaged individuals can benefit from this unprecedented opportunity.”
Redwood Materials; Daye North America; Nucor; SHL Medical; Amazon; Mediterranean Shipping Co.; Robert Bosch; Arcadia Cold Storage & Logistics; Striped Pig Distillery
CRDA collaborated on a talent demand study last year that forecasted 35,700 net new jobs to be added by the end of 2026 to the Charleston region’s 2021 employment base of 370,000. A metro area that saw 29 projects last year also saw big improvements to its port and transportation infrastructure. Developed as part of Charleston’s Global Fluency Initiative, the 2022 Global Connectivity Snapshot found that 165 foreign companies now employ 20,100 people in the region, including 40% of all manufacturing jobs. Program priorities for this year’s CRDA work plan are marketing high-impact clusters to a global audience, attracting talent, fostering innovation and collaborating on the topic of sustainability and resiliency to preserve the area’s quality of life.
Amazon; AtlasBX (batteries); Bridgestone Metalpha USA; Dongwha Electrolyte; FedEx; Florim USA (tile); Google; Hankook Tire; LG Chem; LG Electronics; Microvast; Shinhung Global (logistics)
Many recent advancements are possible in this area due to support from the Aspire Foundation, a privately funded economic development and community marketing initiative. In addition to an incentive/PILOT program and industrial park expansions, the group has also pursued development of an industrial childcare center. Buck Dellinger says the area’s success is “based on a thriving quality of life with a pro-business government, great restaurants and a charming downtown with a vibrant arena and other downtown amenities. And the people that decide to stay here from Fort Campbell and move here from large metro areas like Nashville and Atlanta add to our available workforce.” Leaders are closely looking at childcare, transportation, cost of living and affordable housing. “I call it the ‘Clarksville Difference,’” says Shea Hopkins, the EDC’s vice president of industrial development.
President and CEO
Redwood Materials; Stellar Snacks; EE Technologies; Microsoft; Standvast Fulfillment; Foot Locker; Fyrn; HydaaS (aerospace); Weber Metals
EDAWN in December reported that 27 companies had relocated or expanded their workforce in Greater Reno-Sparks in 2022, adding 2,263 new jobs at a record average wage of $32.67, along with 12 new headquarters. Among other activities, in 2022 EDAWN assisted with the attraction or growth of more than 30 startup companies accounting for more than 350 new jobs. Managing entrepreneurial ecosystem development including the attraction and support of those entrepreneurs is just one charge of EDAWN, says Mike Kazmierski, who explains, “EDAWN 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. EDAWN also 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.” Additionally, EDAWN works to retain companies by resolving issues they may have while working with state and local partners including education institutions to meet employers’ current and future employee needs. Among other data and reports, EDAWN recently issued its own ESG report.
Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI)
President & CEO
Kroger/Locado Group; Sazerac; UPS Healthcare; Quadrant; Confluent Health; Wieland North America; Inxception Corp.; Ford; Interos; McKesson
In 2022, Louisville Metro Government’s Department of Economic Development worked on more than 50 economic development projects that brought nearly 3,700 new jobs to Louisville-Jefferson County with an average annual wage of $61,910. The 50-plus projects also brought a record-setting $2.09 billion in new capital investment “Last year we saw explosive growth in the life sciences logistics sector, with major investments from UPS Healthcare,” says Sarah Davasher-Wisdom. “The EV Manufacturing sector is also continuing to grow thanks to Ford’s BlueOval SK Battery Park historic investment in Hardin County. The project continues to attract new suppliers and partners eager to make Greater Louisville the hub of EV. Greater Louisville employers continue to rally around and support growth of both the advanced manufacturing and logistics and technology sectors by investing in GLI’s AML and TechFirst networks. We are confident that momentum will only increase this year as Greater Louisville takes step to increase our competitive advantage. The Kentucky legislature just passed a half-percent reduction on our state’s personal income tax, as part of a plan to gradually reduce and eventually eliminate the tax altogether. Greater Louisville’s workforce participation is 1.4% higher than the national average and we are making substantial progress to scale our workforce pipeline to meet the needs of the highly skilled positions we continue to bring to the region.”
President & CEO
TSMC; Hello Fresh; Edwards Vacuum; Nestle; Moov Technologies; LG Energy Solution; Funko; Viasat; Fujifilm; Puma; Solvay; Foxlink Tianjin Co.; Linde
GPEC and its allies have a handle on this region’s momentum but don’t grip it so tightly as to stifle the free flow of innovation and enterprise. GPEC works with 22 member communities, Maricopa County and more than 190 private investors to accomplish its mission, and over the past 33 years “has fueled the regional economy by helping 950 companies, creating more than 174,000 jobs and $36 billion in capital investment,” including 10,859 jobs with an average salary of $75,847 and $3.2 billion of capex in 2022. This includes the tens of billions now flowing from Taiwan’s TSMC and other semiconductor companies. Among its most recent research reports is a study of the area’s tech sector, which employs nearly 100,000 in a region that 800 software companies call home. GPEC knows how to focus too: Among the initiatives in 2022 was Project BRAIN, an email campaign targeting UK companies that close a new venture funding round.
President & CEO
LEGO Group; Intact Technology; CoStar Group; Autozone; PPD; Unilock; A. Duie Pyle; Walgreen; Thermo Fisher Scientific; EAB Global
“Last year was our best year in the last 20 years,” says Jennifer Wakefield, “with major projects from companies like The LEGO Group, CoStar Group, EAB and Walgreens. Together with our state and local partners at the City of Richmond and counties of Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico, we are seeing unprecedented activity. Every company right now is looking at how we can help them meet their sustainability goals as well as diverse hiring goals. We are well positioned for both.” The area boasts eight Fortune 500 HQs and three other Fortune 1000 HQs. The Partnership is backed in part by major investors such as Dominion Energy and Altria. All told, the region saw 4,894 jobs announced by companies the Partnership assisted in FY2022, involving $1.62 billion in capital investment and impacting more than 4.4 million sq. ft. of real estate.
Senior VP of Regional Economic
Eli Lilly and Co.; Raytheon; Enpower; Rolls-Royce; American Aerogel; Kronos Inc.; Aptiv Corp.; Andretti Autosport; Spokenote; Bunge North America
Recently announced as the site of the 2025 Site Selectors Guild Fall Forum, Indy knows how to host events from the Final Four and other national collegiate and amateur sports competitions to the Indy 500. The Indy Partnership and its partners across the nine-county region know how to host companies and foster growth. Recognized by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives as the 2021 Chamber of the Year for its work as an advocate for pro-business policies, the Chamber in 2022 supported the creation of 9,500 new jobs with a capital investment of $4.6 billion. Among the tools the Partnership offers is Regional Skills Analysis data for such target sectors as advanced manufacturing, sports, IT, life sciences and agribusiness.
President and CEO
Panasonic; URBN; Easy Ice; RLE International; Ford; Meta; Kraft Tool Co.; Sunlighten Inc.; Heartland Coca-Cola Bottling; Integris Bioservices; Amazon
At its annual meeting in November 2022, KCADC celebrated a record-breaking $5.6 billion in capital investment, $354 million in payroll and nearly 6,000 jobs. “We are living in the golden era of Kansas City, right here, right now,” says Tim Cowden of his 18-county, two-state region. “Tremendous developments are landing across the region, from the new KCI airport single-terminal opening and significant investment in sports — including new stadiums, hosting the NFL Draft and the upcoming 2026 World Cup — to major private-sector investment, such as Panasonic, Meta and URBN. With great success comes even higher expectations — a challenge we are ready to meet. The KCADC team and our many regional partners are seizing upon this historic moment, and we will continue to capitalize on all opportunities evaluating our region.” KCADC also leads KC SmartPort, KC Animal Health Corridor and KC Global Design.
President & CEO
Intel; Zulily; Robotany; Walgreen’s; Meta; Cardinal Health; Kroger Co.; Hyperion Motors; Behr Process Corp.; Pharmavite; Magna International; AmplifyBio
Representing the 11-county Columbus Region, One Columbus is funded by more than 300 private organizations, local governments, academic institutions and JobsOhio. Since 2010, the One Columbus team has helped more than 650 domestic and international companies invest in the region, resulting in over $34 billion of capital invested and more than 68,000 new jobs created. Among its programs is Clean Energy Partners, which works to support the sustainability goals across the region. A December post by the organization’s Justin Wagg summarized recent and forthcoming activity nicely: “Over the past decade, the Columbus Region has been awarded the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, gained record-setting levels of venture capital for startups leading to four unicorn investments, and fleshed out its leadership as a world-class biotech and gene therapy hub,” he wrote before noting Intel’s $20 billion project in Licking County, just 30 minutes from downtown. Now the region’s spirit of collaboration and talent development is welcoming a new innovation district for collaborative research and innovation from Ohio State University, more than 270 acres called “Carmenton” after the school’s alma mater song “Carmen Ohio.”
Google; Samsung; Indeed; TCS Mechanical; Tesla; CelLink; Meta Platforms; Hill Country Studios; Ink Games; BAE Systems; Torc Robotics; Valex
Benefiting from a dynamic five-county region that includes such thriving communities as Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, and Georgetown, Greater Austin saw 132 projects qualified for Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database last year, earning it the title of No. 1 Tier-1 Metro Per Capita. Opportunity Austin since 2004 has helped create more than 600,000 jobs, including 14,292 in 2022. Among other highlights, the group welcomed 61 inbound international delegations, including a number encompassing startups and venture capital firms. The area saw $5.1 billion in VC deals last year after attracting a record $5.4 billion the year before. In addition to backing outcome-based funding for community colleges at the state legislature, the Austin Chamber regional workforce training capacity and modernize facilities at the K12 and community college level, the Austin Chamber endorsed three Austin ISD bond propositions totaling $2.44 billion as well as bond packages proposed by Austin Community College at $770 million and Pflugerville ISD at $367 million, all of which were approved by voters. The group’s summer college and career transition program worked to help approximately 10,000 high school graduates overcome barriers to post-secondary enrollment, and its 512 Career Bridge worked with partners to help students learn about career/workforce training pathways in IT, healthcare, advanced manufacturing and skilled trades.
President & CEO
Brasscraft Manufacturing Co.; Nucor; Truliant Federal Credit Union; Cathtek; Javara; Ziehl-Abegg
Representing 12 counties, five metro areas and a population of 1.7 million that continues to grow, the Partnership’s efforts include the establishment of Carolina Core, a 120-mile-plus stretch of central North Carolina from west of Winston-Salem to Fayetteville encompassing Greensboro and High Point and in close proximity to Charlotte and the Research Triangle, all along future Interstate 685. Five of 14 grants recently approved by the North Carolina Rural Infrastructure Authority went to Carolina Core communities. As Alexis Elmore reported in these pages last year after a trip to the region, the Carolina Core has a talent pool of over 2 million people, with access to over 30 colleges and universities with 250,000 students, robust transportation infrastructure, four international airports, industrial research parks and four megasites. “Folks have started looking at economic development as a team sport rather than individual,” Mike Fox, president of Piedmont Triad Partnership, told her. “That’s a game changer.”
President & CEO
BE NKY Growth
Premier Packaging; Eurostampa North America; Cincinnati Public Radio; Sugaright; Moeller Brew Barn; Thermo Fisher Scientific; Medpace; PPD Global Central Labs
“As a lifelong Cincinnatian, I continue to be amazed at our region,” says Kimm Lauterbach, REDI Cincinnati president and CEO, giving credit to things beyond its thriving business environment. “Cincinnatians are proud of the Queen City and continue to elevate it in all aspects. We have a vibrant arts scene that has been highlighted in recent years by Blink, a light and art festival that takes over downtown Cincinnati and northern Kentucky. Our culinary experiences are highlighted by three James Beard Award finalists this year. And, led by the Cincinnati Bengals, Reds and FC Cincinnati, we are a sports town through and through. We have said for years that Cincinnati has both Midwestern grit and charm, and I am reminded of that now more than ever!”
The BE NKY Growth Partnership (BE NKY) was launched in March as the name for the economic development organization representing Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties formerly known as Northern Kentucky Tri-ED. BE NKY surpassed its targets set at the beginning of 2022, bringing in $292 million in capital investment and 2,356 new jobs. Lee Crume says the area saw a lot of office activity in the supply chain and logistics management sector in 2022, with advanced manufacturing leading in capital investment. The retention of Thermo Fisher Scientific in Highland Heights was a big win with 200 new jobs and a $59 million expansion, bringing its head count to 850. “Project activity is strong in 2023,” Crume says, “but with economic uncertainty it is taking longer for projects to cross the finish line.”
Wolfspeed; Vinfast; Volvo Group; Toyota; Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies; Garmin; Fedex; Do Good Foods; Novo Nordisk; Phase Technologies
Dedicated to 13 core counties in central North Carolina in and around the municipalities and institutions of Raleigh, Cary, Durham and Chapel Hill, the RTP Partnership carries the brand of one of the nation’s bedrock research park environments. Among projects unfolding already in 2023 are around 100 Meta employees now working at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham and a new space for startups from Launch Chapel Hill opening in one of downtown Chapel Hill’s first innovation buildings. One of the founding principles of the RTP region still holds true: Three Tier 1 research universities — North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Duke University in Durham and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — help attract nearly $3 billion in federal R&D funding each year and have spun off hundreds of startup companies.
President & CEO
Hyundai; Hyundai Mobis; Serena & Lilly; CZM USA; Norma Precision; Really-Virtual Corp.; Zerofox; Kiss Nail Products; The Webstaurant Store; Unis Transportation
“Trip Tollison and the Savannah Economic Development Authority were exemplary hosts during our site visit,” wrote Hyundai Motor Company Global President and COO early this year on a LinkedIn post in response to publication of Site Selection’s coverage of his company’s $5.5 billion metaplant now rising along I-16 just northwest of Savannah. SEDA has helped the project from the beginning, as Gary Daughters has documented earlier this year (visit siteselection.com for the full story), and suppliers continue to stream into the region with their own substantial investments. Among other programs, SEDA supports the Savannah Regional Film Commission. In 2022 the entertainment production industry generated nearly $207 million in direct spend in the Savannah region, attributable to 101 professional productions and 44 student productions (driven largely by the Savannah College of Art and Design, which is developing its own film studio complex). SEDA also supports workforce development programs able to take advantage of the region’s relatively young median age of 35.7 and the 4,000 military members transitioning to the area’s civilian workforce every year. The area continues to ride the momentum of the growing Port of Savannah, which moved 11.4% of the nation’s loaded international containers for FY2023 through December. Georgia Ports Authority now handles one out of every 8.8 loaded twenty-foot equivalent container units in the U.S., its highest national market share ever.
exas Instruments; GlobalWafers; Apple; Finstar; Generation Jets; Ruiz Food Products; Arctic Bracing; Sunny Delight Beverage Co.
This brief summary from Texas Instruments says it all about what’s hitting the Sherman-Denison region: “Texas Instruments is building new 300-millimeter semiconductor wafer fabrication plants in Sherman, Texas. The potential $30 billion investment includes plans for four fabs to support our customers’ demand for decades to come. The new fabs will manufacture millions of analog and embedded processing chips daily that will go into electronics everywhere.” And that’s on top of the GlobalWafers/Globitech fab. SEDCO and its allies at organizations such as Denison Development Alliance are supporting workforce development, housing and other aspects of those megaprojects just like they do every day for the small and medium-sized businesses that are the lifeblood of the region. Meanwhile, the City of Sherman has adopted an updated zoning map and, as reported by Dallas Business Journal, “retooled its planned development map to help guide the growth ahead.”
President & CEO
President & CEO
President & CEO
BMW, Bosch, Takeuchi Manufacturing; Highland Baking Co.; TTI Floor Care North America; Thermo King/Ingersoll Rand; Fuyao Glass America; Flexon Industries
“Upstate South Carolina is building upon the momentum of an electrifying 2022,” says John Lummus of Upstate Alliance, whose 221 investing organizations in a 10-county region include Greenville Area Development Corp. and OneSpartanburg. He means that literally, from BMW’s investment of $1.7 billion to support production of electric vehicles to Bosch’s hydrogen fuel cell production. “Each of our 10 counties had at least one investment, and we saw a strong balance of announcements from new and existing employers. Greenville and Spartanburg are both names that resonate in the industrial landscape, and the entire Upstate region benefits when either one is able to attract new investment. It brings more business potential to the region’s 2,100 manufacturers, it deepens the pool of training that our technical colleges can provide, and it ultimately creates more opportunities for economic mobility. Any announcement within the region is a win across the region.” The OneSpartanburg Vision Plan 2.0, launched in March 2022, focuses on 15 key initiatives in the focus areas of talent, economy, and place. OneSpartanburg, whose work landed 36 projects in 2022 resulting in $3.2 billion in capital investment and the creation of 1,742 new jobs, also just launched Power Up Spartanburg, a five-year Small and Minority Business Development Initiative. Greenville Area Development Corp. announced 2,326 jobs and $470 million in capital investment in 2022. The pipeline remains strong across the region. “In 2022,” Lummus says, “our team responded to 80 RFIs, which was double the previous year, and we haven’t slowed down.”
President & CEO
Eaton Corp.; Factor 75; Gemini Trust; Real Good Food Co.; Mars, Inc.; Stripe, Inc.; Meta; ComEd; LinkedIn; Walgreens Boots Alliance; Abbott Laboratories
With 448 projects last year, Chicagoland was far and away Site Selection’s No. 1 Tier 1 Top Metro, and WBC is a big reason why. A big milestone was achieved in January with the formation of the Greater Chicagoland Economic Partnership, a three-year commitment among the city, Cook County and six other counties that each will contribute $1 million with the aim to strengthen the overall global competitiveness of the Chicago region well beyond the core city and its 77 neighborhoods. A major WBC event and the city’s fl agship VC summit, Chicago Venture Summit, was held in early May and has sold out for the past six years. Last year, the group hosted over 100 events of varying sizes, convening leaders, startup founders and other key stakeholders in priority industries to drive growth and expansion. Last year WBC also led several business delegation trips to London, Paris, Mexico City, Los Angeles, New York and Miami, and expects to do more of the same in 2023.
Adam Bruns has served as managing editor of Site Selection magazine since February 2002. In the course of reporting hundreds of stories for Site Selection, Adam has visited companies and communities around the globe. A St. Louis native who grew up in the Kansas City suburbs, Adam is a 1986 alumnus of Knox College, and resided in Chicago; Midcoast Maine; Savannah, Georgia; and Lexington, Kentucky, before settling in the Greater Atlanta community of Peachtree Corners, where he lives with his wife and daughter.