Mark Arend, Editor in Chief

(770) 325-3438

6625 The Corners Parkway, Suite 200
Peachtree Corners, GA 30092 • USA

Press Release


Texas, Nebraska Repeat as Winners of Site Selection Magazine's Governor's Cup Awards

Top Metro and Micropolitan Areas for Corporate Facility Investment Also Named

Atlanta, March 4, 2019: Texas and Nebraska have won the 2018 Site Selection Governor's Cups. This is the sixth year Site Selection recognizes the state with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita, which Nebraska claims for its capital investment activity in 2018. Texas wins for having the most qualified projects of any state.

The 65-year-old Atlanta-based magazine has awarded the Governor’s Cup annually since 1988, based on new and expanded corporate facilities as tracked by the proprietary Conway Projects Database. Site Selection, published by Conway Inc., is the senior publication in the corporate real estate and economic development fields and is the official publication of the Industrial Asset Management Council (IAMC, at Site Selection's yearly analyses are regarded by corporate real estate analysts as "the industry scoreboard." The magazine's circulation base consists of 48,000 subscribers, most of whom are involved in corporate site selection decisions at the CEO/President/COO level.

The Lone Star State's 608-project finish for 2018 is up from its 594-project, first place finish last year (the state attracted 642 the year before). Ohio is second with 454 (down from 467), followed by Illinois (444), Georgia (300) and Kentucky (228). In the per capita (per 1 million population) contest, Nebraska’s tally of 118 projects was eight higher than the year before, which in turn was nine higher than the year before that. In addition to its No. 2 finish in overall projects, Ohio placed third in the per capita race, followed by Illinois, Iowa and Georgia in that order.

“The Governor’s Cups recognize not only the winning governors, but their entire economic development teams, and by extension, the many professionals throughout their states who work every day to attract new investment and retain and grow existing businesses,” says Mark Arend, editor in chief of Site Selection. “Governors Abbott of Texas and Ricketts of Nebraska credit their states’ strong networks of economic development, institutional and business leaders at the city, county and regional levels. They also credit their workforces as their competitive edge, and are taking steps to ensure their supply of labor continues to meet the requirements of investing businesses now and in the future.”

Site Selection’s Conway Projects Database focuses on new corporate facility projects with significant impact, including headquarters, manufacturing plants, R&D operations and logistics sites, among others. It does not track retail and government projects, or schools and hospitals. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: (a) involve a capital investment of at least US$1 million, (b) create at least 20 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 sq. ft. (1,858 sq. m.) of new floor area.

The March 2019 issue of Site Selection also features state rankings by region. For 2018, the regional leaders according to the traditional, total new projects measure are the same as last year: Pennsylvania (Northeast); Ohio (East North Central); Missouri (West North Central); Georgia (South Atlantic); Texas (South Central); Arizona (Mountain); and California (Pacific). Per capita regional leaders, also identical to last year, are Pennsylvania (Northeast); Ohio (East North Central); Nebraska (West North Central); Georgia (South Atlantic); Kentucky (South Central); Nevada (Mountain) and California (Pacific).

Top Metros and Micros

The Top Metros for new and expanded corporate facilities in 2018 featured two repeat winners and one new champion across three population tiers. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin, was No. 1 among metro areas with populations over 1 million; Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebraska-Iowa, was No. 1 among areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million. And Bowling Green, Kentucky, was No. 1 among areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000. Full lists of the Top 10 Metros in each population category appear below.

In addition to a total of seven exclusive governor interviews in the March issue, the Top Metros story also includes an exclusive interview with former U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, who led Greater Chicago’s efforts to attract Amazon’s HQ2, and who has co-founded a new regional tech economy organization called P33. “She’s unabashedly biased in her love for Chicago,” says Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection, “but our readers from all jurisdictions will value her perspective — as well as comments from author and journalist James Fallows — about the leadership metro areas bring to the national picture.”

In the magazine's ranking of Top Micropolitans — cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county — Findlay, Ohio, was tops among the nation's 551 micropolitan areas — down from 575 just a year before. Second place went to Wooster, Ohio, followed by Batavia, New York; Shelby, North Carolina; and a tie between Tupelo, Mississippi, and Ashland, Ohio. Ohio once again led as the state with most Top Micropolitans (18), including another Top 10 area in No. 8 Defiance. Kentucky and Georgia tied for second with 10 each.

Big Muddy Cup

Dubuque, Iowa, is the recipient of the Big Muddy Cup, recognizing the top metro area along the entire length of the Mississippi River for private-sector facility projects per capita over an 18-month period from July 1, 2017 through December 2018. Ranking behind Dubuque were Blytheville, Arkansas; last year’s winner Union City, Tennessee-Kentucky; Hannibal, Missouri; Natchez, Mississippi-Louisiana; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa; St. Louis, Missouri-Illinois; New Orleans-Metairie, Louisiana; and Clinton, Iowa. Lists of Top 10 per capita leaders and Top 10 areas in total projects (led by St. Louis) are included below.

All of the above stories are posted at the magazine's award-winning website,

Site Selection magazine, published by Conway Inc., delivers expansion planning information to a qualified circulation of 48,700 executives of fast-growing firms. Celebrating its 65th anniversary this year, Site Selection is also available via Site Selection Online. Headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., Conway, publisher of Site Selection magazine, the Conway Analytics Report and a family of online industry newsletters, in 2017 was recognized as Georgia International Small Business of the Year by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Conway has been a trusted advisor to corporations, government economic development and investment promotion agencies around the world since 1954. Conway owns and manages Conway Events, organizer of worldwide FDI events; FDI advisory firm Conway Advisory; and New York-based Conway PR & Marketing, a leading PR and lead-generation firm. Conway also manages the Industrial Asset Management Council.

(Note: All circulation information is publisher’s own data unless otherwise specified).