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BF Rankings Report: LA, VA Tops in Economic Growth Potential

Louisiana has surged to the top of Business Facilities’ flagship Economic Growth Potential ranking in our 2012 State Rankings Report.

“With a diverse and well-executed economic development strategy, a workforce training program that sets the standard for the nation and a full menu of innovative incentives, Louisiana is marching forward on a path to prosperity and growth,” said Business Facilities Editor in Chief Jack Rogers.

Louisiana moved into the top slot in BF’s coveted Economic Growth Potential ranking after finishing a close second in 2011. Rogers also noted that the Bayou State moved into fifth place in Business Facilities’ Best Business Climate ranking, up from seventh last year.

“Business climate and growth potential go hand in hand,” Rogers said. “Louisiana has made it clear to businesses looking to expand, relocate or establish new facilities that it is well prepared to meet their needs.”

Louisiana has buttressed its traditional industries, including natural gas and steel production, with an aggressive strategy that has successfully established new growth sectors in the state, including a red-hot digital media industry which boasts cutting-edge studios in New Orleans and Shreveport.

Virginia, last year’s top-ranked state for Economic Growth Potential, maintained its leadership in this category with a second-place finish. The Commonwealth continues to rack up an impressive tally of corporate headquarters relocations, including prime government contractors like Northrop.

Virginia also has established itself as a high-tech hub with its new Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, anchored by jet-engine maker Rolls Royce.

Moving into third place in Business Facilities’ Economic Growth Potential ranking is oil-rich North Dakota, which is racing to maximize the expanding bonanza from development of the Bakken oilfield. The burgeoning Bakken production has made North Dakota a national job-growth leader.

For its Economic Growth Potential ranking, Business Facilities considers state business climate, availability of skilled workforce, incentives and education climate, among other criteria. We also evaluate the state’s economic development strategy, giving extra credit for diversity of new growth sectors and coordination between business, higher education and government agencies. The potential of primary industries to generate secondary relocations/new facilities and indirect jobs also is considered.

Here are the top 10 states in Economic Growth Potential:

BUSINESS FACILITIES 2012 STATE RANKINGS REPORT

ECONOMIC GROWTH POTENTIAL

1 LOUISIANA

2 VIRGINIA

3 NORTH DAKOTA

4 OHIO

5 UTAH

6 TEXAS

7 GEORGIA

8 TENNESSEE

9 PENNSYLVANIA

10 KENTUCKY

 

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