Mark Arend, Editor in Chief

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Press Release


Texas, Ohio Claim Selection Magazine's Governor's Cup Awards

Top Metro and Micropolitan Areas for Corporate Facility Investment Also Named

Atlanta, March 2, 2020: Texas and Ohio have won the 2019 Site Selection Governor’s Cups. This is the seventh year Site Selection recognizes the state with the most qualifying new and expanded facilities per capita, which Ohio claims for its capital investment activity in 2019. Texas wins for the eighth straight time for having the most qualified projects of any state.

The 66-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 859-project finish for 2019 is up from its 608-project, first place finish last year (the state attracted 594 the year before). Ohio is second with 448 (nearly equal to the 454 tallied the year before), followed by Illinois (423), Georgia (296) and Indiana (194). No. 5 Indiana and No. 9 Alabama are new arrivals to the top 10 and the biggest movers, having risen from No. 12 and No. 19, respectively, last year.

In the per capita (per 1 million population) contest, Ohio’s project tally bested No. 2 Kentucky (164 projects), followed by Nebraska (70), Illinois and Iowa (98). The biggest movers there were Alabama moving up to No. 6 from No. 14 last year, and No. 10 Louisiana moving up from No. 17. To its credit, even with its surging population, Texas placed No. 7 in the per capita competition.

“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 Greg Abbott of Texas and Mike DeWine of Ohio deliver the kind of business climate and fiscal predictability that capital investors from around the world rely on for long-term success.”

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.

Top Metros and Micros

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois-Indiana-Wisconsin, was No. 1 for the seventh straight year among metro areas with populations over 1 million; Dayton-Kettering, Ohio, moved up from No. 2 last year to No. 1 among areas with populations between 200,000 and 1 million. And former multi-time champion Sioux City, Iowa-Nebraska-South Dakota, returned to the top position among areas with populations between 50,000 and 200,000. Full lists of the Top 10 Metros in each population category appear below. The online and print editions of the rankings also include Top Metros by U.S. region.

Three of the Top 10 Tier-1 cities were in Texas, with Austin joining familiar top performers Houston and Dallas-Ft. Worth for the first time. Twelve of the 32 metro areas in the top 10s (two extra due to ties) were not even in the top 10s the year before, including the biggest mover, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Other new arrivals include Greater Phoenix, Arizona; Valdosta, Georgia; Montgomery, Alabama; and Lima, Ohio. “A common attribute among the Top Metros is their ability to deliver talent to the companies investing there,” says Adam Bruns, managing editor of Site Selection, “whether that’s a fresh crop of computer science graduates or engineering and trades in the advanced manufacturing or petrochemicals sectors.”

In the magazine's ranking of Top Micropolitans — cities of 10,000 to 50,000 people which cover at least one county — Findlay, Ohio, once again was tops among the nation's 551 micropolitan areas, tallying 17 projects last year. Second place went to Tupelo, Mississippi, followed by Batavia, New York; Jefferson, Georgia; and Mayfield, Kentucky. Ohio once again led as the state with most Top Micropolitans (14 communities landing 69 projects), including Top 10 Micropolitans Tiffin and Zanesville with seven project wins apiece. Kentucky and North Carolina tied for second with 11 each.

Big Muddy Cup

Greater Blytheville, Arkansas, 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. Ranking behind Blytheville were last year’s winner Dubuque, Iowa; Clinton, Iowa; Clarksdale, Mississippi and Union City, Tennessee-Kentucky. Lists of Top 10 per capita leaders and Top 10 areas in total projects (led by St. Louis for the second straight year) 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).