This year’s annual Rankings Report arrives as every state in the nation is struggling with the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. The downturn adds an increased urgency to the competition between the states to maintain the economic base they have, and to move as quickly as possible to establish the emerging industries of the 21st century. As in past years, we have continued to refine and upgrade our rankings, adding new data sources and fine-tuning the criteria we apply to produce the results. We have tried to give special weight this year to new incentive programs and other state initiatives that are specifically targeted toward improving that state’s standing within a ranking category. We took special care to make sure that our evaluations of state rankings in two critical categories, Greenest States and Overall Biotechnology Strength, reflect the diversity and scope of each state’s efforts in these two growth sectors. Along with our traditional “flagship” ranking, Best Business Climate, a place at the top of our biotech and green rankings has emerged as perhaps the most coveted designation we can bestow. As we reported in the March issue of Business Facilities, many states are protecting their emerging biotech sectors from budget cuts. Our June cover story, “Building a Greener Economy,” revealed that the movement for sustainable development, smart growth and green building is now a key driver of overall economic development. INFRASTRUCTURE, HEALTH AND SAFETY ARE ASSESSED Among the new categories you will find in our 2009 Rankings Report are rankings for leaders in Transportation Infrastructure and Workforce Health and Safety. These concerns have moved to the top of the national agenda as economic stimulus funds are targeted to shovel-ready infrastructure projects, and containing the spiraling cost of healthcare has become a top priority for the new Administration in Washington. There is no question that transportation infrastructure and the availability of adequate and cost-effective healthcare are becoming important components of the site selection decision-making process. We again give a tip of our hat to CQ Press, which publishes a multitude of statistics on states and cities annually, and the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), which in tandem with Battelle produces the most comprehensive data set for state biotech initiatives. We believe the current economic environment gives special bragging rights to the winners in our 2009 Rankings Report. We congratulate all of this year’s top-ranked locations, and, as always, we invite your suggestions for new categories for next year’s rankings.
The economic squeeze has intensified the competition between localities at all levels. Here we give our annual assessment of the best of the best–the cities, towns and MSAs which have executed the most successful strategies and deserve to take a bow as our rankings leaders.
The Lone Star State is committed to doing whatever it takes to keep Texas wide open for investment and development.
Rich in energy resources, Louisiana is adding new high-tech and research sectors to a traditional manufacturing, oil and gas production base.
Innovative incentives and regional initiatives keep U.S. biotech at the forefront of global product sales and new biotech discoveries.
GLOBALFOUNDRIES Building $4.2-Billion Microchip Plant in Malta, NY Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corporation (LFTC) and GLOBALFOUNDRIES held their official groundbreaking last month in Malta, NY for the construction of a $4.2-billion microchip fabrication plant, called Fab 2, marking the beginning of construction of what is planned as the most advanced chip fabrication plant in the world. The project, located in Saratoga County, NY, is expected to create 1,400 high-tech jobs in the region. LFTC is actively seeking additional tenants for the remaining nine development areas. In addition to almost a decade of planning, by economic development entities and state and local government leaders, public-private partnerships have contributed to the success of LFTC. The state of New York has contributed up to $1.2 billion in incentives toward the GLOBALFOUNDRIES project. “The groundbreaking is proof that GLOBALFOUNDRIES is officially a part of Luther Forest Technology Campus and will bring positive benefits to Saratoga County,” said Michael Relyea, president of Luther Forest Technology Campus. “As one of the largest economic development projects in the country, it is monumental in moving the region toward a brighter economic future. This investment in the global economy shows Luther Forest Technology Campus as a model for the nation.” The GLOBALFOUNDRIES project is slated to employee around 1,600 construction workers over the next two to three years plus an additional 2,700 workers for local construction-related jobs. In addition, the fab will create more than 1,400 high-tech jobs with an estimated annual payroll of $88 million once production begins, as well as around 5,000 indirect jobs in the region. The total estimated annual payroll for all jobs is $290 million. “Luther Forest Technology Campus offers an outstanding business environment while Saratoga County and the Capital Region offer an outstanding high quality of living including stellar public education, at the base of the Adirondacks,” said Dennis Brobston, president of Saratoga Economic Development Corporation. The build out of the campus is expected to lead to future growth for Tech Valley, as additional companies move to the area. LFTC is shovel-ready, featuring flexible lot sizes of up to one million square feet for the remaining development areas. The campus has access of up to 15 million gallons per day of fresh water, redundant power with 99-percent reliability, sewer lines and telecommunications. Because the soil composition absorbs vibration, the land is ideal for high-tech construction. Centrally located between New York City, Boston and Montreal, LFTC is close to an international airport, a rail system and a major port. The newly constructed […]
Figuring out how to compare locations based on their workforce is tough. This month, The Expert guides us through the process.
Rob McClintock is Director of Research of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and state liaison for the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing, a $50-million collaboration between the Commonwealth, the University of Virginia and Virginia Tech. BF: How quickly will the CCAM be up and running, and where will it be located? RM: CCAM will be located on a 10-acre site near the southern entrance to the 1,000-acre Rolls-Royce Crosspointe manufacturing campus in the Richmond-Petersburg metro area. The facility, to be owned by the University of Virginia Foundation, will be a not-for-profit organization. We anticipate construction beginning in the 4th quarter of 2010, with occupancy early in 2012. BF: CCAM is geared to support Rolls Royce through a new Commonwealth Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems. Will this academic/industrial collaboration be applied to other sectors? RM: We absolutely view CCAM as a vehicle to help drive broad-based collaboration between industry and academia for the discovery of new manufacturing technologies. CCAM will have an initial research emphasis on surface engineering and manufacturing systems. We anticipate CCAM will add to the growing body of knowledge into advanced manufacturing capability across a wide range of industry sectors. The key is to create an environment of non-competitive collaboration, whereby all members can share in discovery and testing of new manufacturing processes. We have had several other aerospace companies, defense-related manufacturers, manufacturing systems firms, and energy-related companies embrace the concept. The founding members also will reach out to other governmental research institutions and universities to broaden the membership of the Center. BF: Is the CCAM empowered to commercialize new technologies? RM: Members of CCAM can have the best of both worlds. The CCAM Board will set the core research program undertaken annually by the Center, but members can participate in shared research which can produce intellectual property. Members would receive royalty free, non-exclusive licenses to that shared research as long as they remain members. Additionally, Center members could undertake very company-specific research projects, in which case the member could receive royalty free, exclusive licenses to that research. BF: Has Virginia made a long-term commitment to the CCAM? RM: We believe the future belongs to those who can find ways to bring innovation from the research labs to the production line. We took a similar view with our SRI collaboration with James Madison University to accelerate new drug and vaccine discoveries. We are very hopeful that CCAM provides a useful template that brings the expertise of Virginia’s world-class universities directly to bear on the needs of industry. If […]
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