Moving Targets

From the Desk of the Editor in Chief

Each year, as we prepare our annual Rankings Report, Business Facilities mines every relevant data source we can find. We view this data through a multi-faceted prism of criteria to make sure these rankings are a reliable reflection of who’s on top, and who’s not.

However, our 2009 Rankings Report comes with a huge caveat: Readers beware, the ground is shifting—and it’s shifting fast.

It is an understatement to say that the economic development landscape is in the midst of a dramatic transformation. Words like “earthquake” and “tsunami” comes to mind.

In every location, the economic debacle that began last year has sent seismic shock waves across the country. Long neglected necessities—energy efficiency, infrastructure rebuilding, the conversion of manufacturing to high-tech—loom up through the cracks in the economic landscape as urgent priorities.

Venerable industries (think automotive) are being challenged to instantly reinvent themselves. Emerging growth technologies (think cellulosic biofuels) are being rushed out of laboratories and start-up incubators to commercially ramp up at warp speed.

The mountain of work that needs to be done can be viewed as an insurmountable obstacle or a breathtaking opportunity. What can’t be disputed is that we have to start climbing, quickly.

On these pages, you will find the leaders who are racing to the top of the mountain, where we all hope to be greeted by a sparkling new vista of growth and prosperity.

Jack Rogers