The Lone Star State achieved top 10 results in 13 of BF’s state rankings categories in the magazine’s annual compilation of the leaders in 25 critical economic development benchmarks. Texas is BF’s top-ranked state for Best Business Climate, Best Infrastructure, Installed Wind Power Capacity and Exports Leaders.
“Texas has been a jobs-creating juggernaut for years, but our friends in the Lone Star State show no signs of slowing down,” BF Editor in Chief Jack Rogers said. “With forward-thinking investments like the new wind power grid in West Texas, what’s big in Texas will keep getting bigger.”
California appeared in the top 10 in 12 of BF’s state rankings categories and led the field with five first-place rankings. The Golden State is No. 1 in Top Manufacturing States, Biotech Strength (Drugs/Pharma), Biotech Strength (Medical Devices), Installed Solar Capacity and Solar Power Installation Leaders (2014).
Indiana made the top 10 in 10 categories, including Biotech Growth Potential and Automotive Employment Leaders.
“Indiana has joined the top tier in a diverse range of growth sectors, climbing our rankings ladder at a steady clip,” Rogers said. “With this performance, the Hoosier State has emerged as a strong contender for our top annual award, State of the Year.”
Tennessee, the first state to win back-to-back State of the Year honors from BF, reclaimed its crown as the top-ranked state for Automotive Manufacturing Strength. The Volunteer State held the No. 1 position in BF’s premier automotive ranking for four consecutive years before being nudged into second place by Alabama in 2014.
TN has built an impressive Tier 1 supplier network around its automotive crown jewel, Volkswagen’s North American assembly plant in Chattanooga. VW, recently outpacing Toyota as the world’s top-selling car brand, is in the midst of a $1-billion expansion at the TN facility.
Tennessee also is the top-ranked state in BF’s new Education: Tech Skills Leaders category, which showcases the states that have made tech skills-oriented educational programs a top priority. TN was the first state to offer two free years of Tech School or Community College to all eligible high school graduates, a program cited by President Obama in his State of the Union Address as a model for the nation.
“The leadership Tennessee has shown in education is a standard that should be emulated across the country,” said Rogers. “It’s also the smartest formula for sustainable economic growth.”
For an unprecedented sixth year in a row, Louisiana is the top-ranked state in BF’s Workforce Training Leaders category.
“Many states now have recognized that workforce training is priority No. 1 in economic development. Louisiana FastStart sets the bar very high for best practices in this critical requirement for business expansion,” Rogers said.
Business Facilities is a national publication that has been the leading location source for corporate site selectors and economic development professionals for more than four decades.
Click here to view the complete state results from the 2015 BF Rankings Report.