North Carolina is one of two states that has received Area Development magazine’s inaugural 2022 Platinum Shovel award which recognizes states that went beyond the gold standard for investment and job creation. The Platinum Shovel award is part of Area Development’s annual celebration of economic development, which also includes the Gold and Silver Shovel awards. North Carolina was previously honored by the magazine, having received Gold Shovel awards in 2018 and 2021 and Silver Shovel awards in 2009, 2011–2017, and 2019–2020.
Area Development magazine presents the Annual Shovel Awards to states in recognition of their state economic development agencies and their achievements in job creation and economic impact through policies and processes that attract and develop new and existing businesses. All 50 states across the country submitted their top ten job creation and investment projects from 2021, which were then scored on the number of high value-added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities and industry diversity.
“By virtue of the fact that North Carolina’s 10 submitted projects will be responsible for the creation of more than 9,000 jobs and $6 billion in company investment, the state went beyond the gold standard and is receiving our new Platinum Shovel award,” said Area Development’s Editor Geraldine Gambale.
North Carolina also had two projects recognized as Projects of the Year. Apple’s research and development center in Wake County was recognized as Non-Manufacturing Project of the Year. Toyota’s first North American electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Randolph County won Manufacturing Project of the Year. The project will create 1,750 jobs and invest $1.3 billion.