BATON ROUGE, La. – One of the nation’s leading economic development trade publications has presented Louisiana with a 2022 Silver Shovel Award, recognizing the state as one of the nation’s leaders in statewide capital investment and job creation during 2021.
The announcement by Area Development magazine marks the 11th time in 13 years that Louisiana has been honored with a Silver Shovel, following previous awards in 2021, 2020, 2018 and 2010 through 2016. The magazine uses an independent panel of economic development experts to evaluate the Top 10 business development and business expansion projects in all 50 states. Scoring is weighted for per capita job creation, total capital investment, new facility construction and industry sector diversity.
Projects submitted by Louisiana represented more than $18.2 billion in capital investment and 2,953 new direct jobs. Total 2021 investment exceeded $20 billion and will create nearly 7,000 new direct jobs.
“It’s gratifying to see Louisiana’s steady economic growth and diversification receive this kind of national recognition,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Louisiana’s 2021 economic successes are a testament to the strength of our workforce and business climate, the superiority of our infrastructure and logistics, the impact of our commitment to energy transition leadership and investment, and the power of our collaboration with regional and local economic development partners. The 2022 Silver Shovel Award reaffirms that Louisiana’s economy is keeping pace with a changing world.”
Venture Global’s December announcement of a $10 billion, 200-job LNG facility in Cameron topped Louisiana’s list of qualified projects. Also included were Air Products’ $4.5 billion hydrogen production and carbon capture project in Ascension Parish; a $700-million renewable biofuels plant by Louisiana Green Fuels; a $1.2 billion expansion of Shintech’s Plaquemine facility; and $151 million for two SafeSource Direct PPE manufacturing facility projects in the Acadiana Region, which were credited with creating more than 1,200 direct new jobs.
Additional projects included PBF Chalmette’s $240 million expansion of its petroleum refining plant; Bia Energy Operating Company’s $550 million methanol plant at the Port of Caddo Bossier; Hunt Forest Products/Tolko’s $240 million lumber mill in Bienville Parish; BioLab’s new, $170 million chlorine facility in Westlake; and Amazon’s fulfillment centers in Baton Rouge and Shreveport, with a combined capital investment of $400 million and 2,000 direct new jobs.
The 2022 Silver Shovel Award joins other recent economic development honors, recognition and achievements for the state:
- LED Fast Start ranked No. 1 state workforce development program for the 12th straight year (Business Facilities magazine, 2021).
- LED Growth Network honored with a Gold Award for Entrepreneurship programs, and LED FastStart honored with a Silver Award for talent development and retention (International Economic Development Council, 2021).
- LED reaccredited by the International Economic Development Council, the only state economic development agency in the U.S. so recognized (IEDC, 2021).
- Louisiana ranked No. 1 for economic development results in the South (Southern Business & Development magazine, 2020)
Louisiana Economic Development is responsible for strengthening the state’s business environment and creating a more vibrant Louisiana economy. It is the only state agency in the U.S. accredited by the International Economic Development Council, boasting a wide range of award-winning programs and projects routinely ranked among the nation’s best. In 2021, LED attracted 64 new economic development projects representing over 18,100 new direct and indirect jobs, 9,700 retained jobs and more than $20.5 billion in new capital investment. Explore how LED cultivates jobs and economic opportunity for the people of Louisiana, and promotes business opportunity for employers of all sizes at OpportunityLouisiana.com.