Photo: Gov. Ricketts (left) accepts the Silver Shovel Award from Dennis Shea (right), President and Publisher of Area Development magazine.

Today, Governor Pete Ricketts accepted a major economic development award on behalf of the State of Nebraska.  Area Development magazine—considered to be the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation—presented Nebraska with the Silver Shovel Award for 2019.

“Today is further proof that Nebraska is one of the best places in America to invest and do business,” said Governor Ricketts.  “The Silver Shovel Award demonstrates that we continue to succeed at attracting great employers and creating quality, high-paying jobs for hardworking Nebraska families.  Thank you to the numerous Nebraskans who helped build the environment that attracted these great opportunities and new investments.”

Gold and Silver Shovel Awards are presented to states that ranked among the top in the nation for job creation, investment attraction, and industry growth throughout the previous year.  Nebraska was one of only 14 recipients of the Shovel Award this year.  The State of Nebraska received the award for being second in the nation in the category of states with fewer than three million people.

Shovel Award winners are determined based on an analysis of each state’s ten best job creating and investment attraction projects.  In Nebraska, this included projects such as Facebook’s new data center in Papillion, Becton Dickinson’s expansion in Columbus, and Michael Foods’ investment in Bloomfield.  The full project list for each award-winning state, including Nebraska, is available on the Area Development website by clicking here.

In all, Nebraska’s top ten projects represent nearly $2 billion of capital investment in the state and over 1,500 new jobs.

This is not the first time Nebraska has received the Silver Shovel Award—it was also honored by Area Development in 2007—nor is it the state’s first economic development award this year.  In March, Nebraska received Site Selection’s Governor’s Cup for the third consecutive year, which also recognized the State of Nebraska’s standout success in economic growth and job creation.

At today’s award ceremony, Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) Director Dave Rippe highlighted some of the keys to Nebraska’s ongoing success.

“Economic development doesn’t happen on its own.  It’s about people,” Rippe said.  “This award symbolizes the efforts of a countless number of talented, dedicated individuals and teams who work day in and day out to grow our state.  Our ability to work together as a team—to rally around a mutual vision—is what sets us apart from other states, and what contributed most to today’s achievement.”

Detailed information about Nebraska’s victory and a full review of this year’s Shovel Award winners appears in the second quarter (Q2) 2019 issue of Area Development magazine, which can be accessed online by clicking here.

Watch video of the Silver Shovel Award ceremony by clicking here.