RED BANK, NJ — Today, Business Facilities has revealed the top states chosen for a select number of categories from its 19th Annual Rankings Report. Focused on 60+ factors that are pertinent to site selection teams during a corporate relocation or expansion project, this report has been a valuable and timely resource for corporate site selectors and site selection consultants for nearly two decades. The full report — including annual State Rankings and Metro and Global Rankings — will be published in the July/August 2023 issue of Business Facilities.
Texas Leading: Best Business Climate
The ninth largest economy in the world, Texas is recognized by Business Facilities as the state with the Best Business Climate in the magazine’s annual State Rankings.
In 2022, Texas attracted more than 1,000 projects, more than double the second-highest state, representing an expected $44.75 billion in capital investment and the creation of more than 35,000 jobs. Foreign direct investment accounts for $16.3 billion and about half of new jobs recorded for that year. Advanced manufacturing in the state has seen robust growth, with significant investment from semiconductor, electric vehicle, and aerospace/aviation firms. And major companies are choosing the Lone Star State for corporate headquarters with 55 Fortune 500 firms calling the state home.
“The strength and sustained momentum of the Texas economy made the state a clear choice for Best Business Climate in this year’s rankings,” said Business Facilities Editorial Director Anne Cosgrove. “Taking the top spot this year is based not only on the impressive capital investment and job creation numbers, but also for diversity of industries, robust infrastructure, and a business-friendly regulatory and tax climate.”
Following Texas in the top five for Best Business Climate are: North Carolina, Virginia, Utah, and Tennessee, respectively, followed by Colorado, Washington, Nevada, Georgia, and Florida.
Time Is Of The Essence: Customized Workforce Training
With workforce attraction and retention a crucial factor for companies across all industries, a program launched in Virginia in 2019 delivers what new and expanding businesses need — quickly and efficiently. Taking the top spot for Customized Workforce Training, the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program instituted by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership is a custom workforce initiative in collaboration with higher education partners throughout the state.
Characterized by the direct delivery of recruitment and training services that are fully customized to a company’s products, processes, equipment, standards, and culture, the Virginia Talent Accelerator Program supports a business from the moment it chooses to invest in the state.
“The Virginia Talent Accelerator Program team has made great strides to attract and retain investment to the state since 2019. This innovative, high-quality service has played a significant role in creating more than 10,000 jobs since its inception,” said Cosgrove. “In 2022, The LEGO Group chose Virginia for its first U.S. manufacturing facility, and the company has made clear the role that this program played in its decision to locate there, creating over 1,700 jobs.”
Following Virginia in the top five for Customized Workforce Training are: Louisiana, Alabama, Texas, and Missouri, respectively, followed by Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Michigan.
Meeting The Future Today: Tech Talent Pipeline
Taking first place for the Tech Talent Pipeline category is Louisiana. The state’s move up from second place in 2022 to the top spot recognizes an impressive and proactive focus on expanding the skilled tech workforce through programs that are quickly and effectively delivering results. Also noteworthy is the state’s initiatives towards developing its skilled workforce for the burgeoning renewable energy industry.
“A bevy of tech-focused economic development initiatives and incentives, such as the Small Business Innovation and Research grant match program, have firmly established Louisiana as a standout state for tech companies across all sectors to develop or expand,” said Cosgrove. “Meanwhile, investment into the Cyber Corridor in the northern part of the state are drawing academia, industry, and government resources and supporting the demand for talent in cybersecurity. Backed by the full array of the state’s workforce programs, the tech talent pipeline in Louisiana has nowhere to go but up.”
Following Louisiana in the top five for Tech Talent Pipeline are: Virginia, Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut, respectively, followed by Colorado, Texas, Washington, Delaware, Utah, New Jersey, and Michigan.
Driving New Growth: Electric Vehicle Investment & Infrastructure
With 2022 considered a pivotal point for the growth of electric vehicle adoption, this year’s Annual Rankings Report introduces the Electric Vehicle Industry Investment and Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure categories. The former evaluates existing and expected capital investment and job creation, and the latter reveals which states are leading in charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs).
At the top of the leaderboard for EV Industry Investment are Michigan, Tennessee, and Georgia — each attracting more than $15 billion and 16,000 jobs over the past eight years from the industry (including battery and component manufacturing). Investment from the past 12 months in these states has also been significant. Rounding out the rankings list: Nevada, Kentucky, South Carolina, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, and Kansas.
California, New York, and Florida lead the top 10 for EV Charging Infrastructure, followed by Texas, Massachusetts, Colorado, Washington, Georgia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, respectively. In Canada, the top ranked provinces for number of EV charging stations are Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia.
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than 50 years.