Arizona wins 4th consecutive Gold Shovel award for economic development

Jun 24, 2024, 4:25 AM

During an earnings call on April 18, 2024, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said engineer...

During an earnings call on April 18, 2024, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. said engineering wafer production was underway at its first Phoenix factory, which is still under construction. (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Photo)

(Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona was named a recipient of a Gold Shovel award by Area Development magazine, the state’s fourth consecutive gold shovel.

Now in its 19th year, Area Development’s Shovel Awards honor states for job creation, economic growth, investing in innovation, improving infrastructure, expanding facilities and other attributes that are desirable to employers.

Per Area Development, Arizona’s largest projects will add more than 7,000 jobs after nearly $8 billion in investments.

Arizona, which falls in the states with populations between 5 million and 8 million category, has been awarded six gold shovel and six silver shovel awards since 2007, but the six gold shovels have all come in the past eight years.

“We’re honored Arizona has been recognized with a Gold Shovel award for the fourth consecutive year,” President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority Sandra Watson said in a release. “These projects collectively represent billions in capital investment and thousands of projected new jobs in growing industries, creating economic opportunity for Arizonans statewide. We’re grateful to Governor Hobbs for her leadership and to work alongside all of our state, local and federal partners to continue growing and advancing Arizona’s economy.”

The magazine awarded LG Energy Solution’s investment in Queen Creek one of the 15 “Manufacturing Projects of the Year” and one of 10 “Cleantech Projects of the Year.”

In 2022, LG Energy Solution picked Queen Creek for a battery manufacturing facility. The $5.5 billion property is expected to bring thousands of new jobs to the area.

Additionally, Amkor received a “Non-Manufacturing Projects of the Year” honor. Amkor Technology is spending $2 billion to build a new advanced semiconductor packaging and test facility in Peoria that will package and test chips for Apple. As a result, it was create 2,000 jobs. The 320-acre property near Loop 303 at Lone Mountain Parkway will be home to the nation’s largest outsourced advanced packaging facility.

“From batteries to semiconductors, renewable energy and technology, Arizona has become the leading destination for innovation and advanced manufacturing,” Gov. Katie Hobbs said in a release. “Arizona’s record shows we can attract high tech investments and strengthen our supply chain, while supporting good-paying jobs all across our state. We are proud Arizona continues to be recognized as a top state for high-quality job creation and economic development.”

How are Gold Shovel awards determined?

Area Development magazine gives each state a weighted average that is pulled from the number of high-valued added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities and industry diversity in each state.

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Arizona wins 4th consecutive Gold Shovel award for economic development