There are Changes in the Wind
By Michael Randle
In the 14-year history of the SB&D 100, only six
states have been awarded the coveted "State of the Year." Those are
Alabama (four times), Florida (twice), North Carolina (three times),
Tennessee (once), Texas (twice) and Virginia (three times). I know that
adds up to 15 winners in 14 years. Well, North Carolina and Alabama
shared "State of the Year" honors in 2005 and 2006 and you haven't read
yet who won "State of the Year" this year, but let's just say that you
can add a seventh Southern state to that list.
The results of the 2007 SB&D 100 clearly indicate that
there are changes in the wind when it comes to economic development in
the South. States that typically do not generate as many large job
generating and capital investment deals as the "regulars" are now
challenging the elite like never before. Case in point: Missouri has
averaged 159 points in the SB&D 100 since 1994. There's no question
that's an underperforming average during that time for a state with
nearly 6 million residents.
But, Missouri is a border-South state and all of those
except for Kentucky (Kansas, Missouri, West Virginia and Maryland),
struggle to keep up with non-border states in the South when it comes to
economic development in general. History has shown they just do not turn
as many deals as other states in the South. It's not their fault. It's
simply because they must play both sides of the fence when other states
in the South do not have to play that game. Maryland and West Virginia
are uniquely linked with the South and the Northeast. Missouri and
Kansas must play the economic development game with Southern states and
with Midwestern states. I've always thought that was a disadvantage for
Regardless of those possible disadvantages, out of the
blue, Missouri puts up 355 points on this year's SB&D 100 board. We
strongly considered giving the honor of "State of the Year" to Missouri
this year, considering their 159 point average over the last 13 years.
But no, we decided to pick another Southern state this year that has
never been recognized as "State of the Year" in the South. Yet, we are
very impressed with what Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt has done as well as
his economic development team. Now let's see if they can keep it up.
In addition to Missouri's great performance, Alabama's
(for the fifth straight year) and Texas' efforts should be given special
emphasis in this year's SB&D 100. Secondarily, North Carolina, Georgia,
Kentucky, Mississippi and South Carolina should be mentioned as well for
their performances in calendar year 2006. Of course, none of those
states include our "State of the Year" (read on).
Alabama has earned "State of the Year" honors the last
four consecutive years. Should we have given it to them again this year?
Probably. They are at the top, again, of the PPM (Points Per Million)
ranking. But Alabama is going to have to settle with a "Honorable
Mention." This year's SB&D 100 had too many "gray" areas running through
it and Alabama's point total dropped for the first time since we named
them "State of the Year" way back in 2003.
Texas is back with a vengeance, posting over 900
points. I know, other economic development magazines are giving it up to
Texas like never before. "Hold on, there," we say. We remember the go-go
'90s. Texas' performance in the 2007 SB&D 100 is very good, but it is
not great compared to what the Lone Star State did in the mid-to-late
1990s. So, even with an incredible total, Texas ranked just 7th in the
South in our critically important PPM category (Points Per Million
residents), a factor that we take very seriously in our state ranking.
Seventh in PPM won't get you "State of the Year," but it might get you
an "Honorable Mention," which we are giving to Texas.
In the market category rankings (Mega-Markets, Major
Markets, Mid-Markets, Small Markets and Micro Markets), the following
states had markets that earned recognition based on the points they
earned. It should be noted that we recognize the top three in each
market peer group unless there is a tie in points earned.
Four markets recognized
Three markets recognized
One market recognized
Two markets recognized
Four markets recognized
One market recognized
Four markets recognized
How We Rank States and Markets
It should be noted that the SB&D 100 is not a survey
of executives who choose which markets they believe are the most
attractive in the South. The Hot Markets report ranks states,
mega-markets (over 2 million in population), major markets (750,000-1.99
million), mid-markets (250,000-749,999), small markets (100,000-249,999)
and micropolitan markets (10,000-99,999), based on the number of
corporate and industrial job and investment announcements they
successfully attract that feature 200 or more jobs and/or $30 million or
more in investment. We simply count how many deals each state or market
turns and each deal is given five or 10 points, depending on the size of
the project. If the project ranks as one of the 100-largest job or
investment deals announced in the South during the year, it earns 10
points for that state and/or market. If the deal is 200 jobs or more,
and/or $30 million or more in investment, but does not make either
"100," then five points is awarded.
State of the Year
You might be wondering why Louisiana is our choice of
"State of the Year" when they earned 220 points, huh? Let us go to the
"gray" area of economic development (see Southbound column, page 4). In
2003 we named Alabama "State of the Year" for the first time ever and
that state put up just 280 points. We knew Alabama was just getting
started back in 2002 (the year numbers were used for the 2003 SB&D 100).
Two years later, economic development and general-reach business
magazines were giving Alabama all kinds of awards and such. In other
words, we knew two years before anyone else did that Alabama was "hot"
and would get even hotter, as evidenced by "State of the Year" honors in
2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006.
We feel the same way, to an extent, about Louisiana.
More importantly, though, we are honoring Louisiana with "State of the
Year" this year because they almost doubled their point total from the
year before, jumped from 13th to 3rd in PPM in one year and they did it
under very difficult conditions.
Unless you've lived in a cave since the summer of
2005, you know what has happened to much of south Louisiana and the
state as a whole. The leadership there has overcome so much and to put
220 points on the board the year after hurricanes Rita and Katrina,
well, that is just outstanding. Nope, it is even more than that.
Louisiana has done the impossible and they did it when they were backed
in a corner in a big way.
While there were many communities that helped
Louisiana win its first State of the Year award, we do want to mention
that New Orleans came in second in the Major Market division and Baton
Rouge won Mid-Market of the Year in the 2007 SB&D 100.
355 Points, 2nd in *PPM
305 Points, 1st in *PPM
915 Points, 7th in *PPM
* Points per million residents
St Louis: Mega-Market of the Year
Houston: Mega-Market of the Year
This a first for both St. Louis and Houston. Almost
every year, Dallas/Fort Worth or Baltimore/Washington/D.C. takes this
prize. St. Louis had its best year by far with several notable deals
making this year's SB&D 100 lists. World Wide Technology, McCormick
Scientific, Jambo Kenya Coffee, CDM Electronics, Ungerboeck Systems,
Chemir, Procter and Gamble, Momentum NA, American Healthways, Thayer
Aerospace, LaBarge and Express Scripts are several of the companies that
made either large investments in capital or labor, or both, in the St.
Louis mega-market in calendar year 2006.
As for Houston, it too, has won Mega-Market of the
Year for the first time. Lockheed Martin, Enterprise Products,
Hewlett-Packard, Kinder Morgan, Kaneka, AAA Furniture, Dianal America
and Englehard/BASF, were some of the companies that took Houston's point
total to the top in the mega-market category.
Kansas City: Major Market of the Year
As we've written, there are changes in the wind. While
St. Louis tied with Houston, and won its first Mega-Market of the Year,
Kansas City has now won its first Major Market of the Year award. Kansas
City just had a monster year. In fact, Kansas City's 195 points topped
eight other Southern STATES in this year's "100" ranking.
Some of the companies that helped launch Kansas City
to the top of the Major Market list include Eastern Isotopes, Bank
Midwest, Triad Media, Fujifilm Sericol, Synbiotics Corp., Folger Coffee,
International Paper, Proteon Therapeutics, Farmland Foods, Matrix
Medical, E.T. Archer, MMG Worldwide, Walsworth Publishing and Chicago
Baton Rouge: Mid-Market of the Year
This is another first. Baton Rouge has never won
Mid-Market of the Year either, until now. Baton Rouge's 75 point easily
topped Huntsville's 60 in the Mid-Market category. Huntsville has been
on a roll, earning Mid-Market of the Year last year and in 2005. That
being the case, topping Huntsville is a huge accomplishment for the
Baton Rouge MSA.
A few companies that helped Baton Rouge get to the top
of the mid-market category included Celtic Media, Formosa Plastics, and
two huge bio-diesel and ethanol projects being built by Shaw across the
river in Port Allen.
Anniston-Oxford, AL: Small Market of the
Tuscaloosa, AL: Small Market of the Year
Decatur, AL: Small Market of the Year
St. Joseph, MO: Small Market of the Year
Since there are four small markets tied at the top in
the small market division, there are obviously four Small Markets of the
Year this year. Note that three are located in Alabama.
A deal to build Army tanks in Anniston and a huge
investment by NGC Industries in Oxford, gave that market 25 points.
Tuscaloosa earned its way to the top with deals from USG, Hunt Refining
and U.S. Energy and Decatur received 25 points from deals made by 3M,
Wayne Farms and Toray Carbon Fibers. St. Joseph, Mo., landed projects
from Lifeline Foods, USA 800, Albaugh, BMS Warehousing and Boehringer
Lagrange/Troup County, GA: Micro-Market of
Cape Girardeau, MO: Micro-Market of the Year
Richmond, KY: Micro-Market of the Year
Lagrange/Troup County earned all of its 20 points from
the Kia Motors assembly plant that is being built in West Point, Ga.
Cape Girardeau landed deals from Procter & Gamble, National Asset
Recovery, Spartech Plastics and CPAC. Richmond, Ky., earned its points
from GSI Commerce Solutions and the Blue Grass Chemical Agent
Dublin, GA: 15 Points