Virginia Wins Site Selection Magazine’s 2011 Competitiveness Award

Site Selection magazine named Virginia the winner of its annual Competitiveness Award, which recognizes excellence on the part of a state-level economic development group. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) accepted the award at the Industrial Asset Management Council’s Spring Professional Forum held in Austin, Texas.

Virginia has held one of the top two spots over the last three years in this annual ranking of state competitiveness, winning in 2009 and placing second in 2010.

The Competitiveness Award was based on a 10-factor index using Conway Data Inc.’s New Plant database. Rather than simply tallying the number of new and expanded facilities, the study also reviewed capital invested in new and expanded facilities, total jobs created, the individual state tax climate, state unemployment rate and performance in other rankings to select the Commonwealth as the winner.

In the 2011 rankings, Virginia outscored its nearest competition by 25 points, and was the only state to score above the 400-point mark.

According to Site Selection Editor in Chief Mark Arend, "The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and Governor McDonnell have demonstrated that a pro-business, get-the-word-out strategy coupled with a predictable, low-tax business climate results in a competitive edge that is quantifiable."

Add to that a world-class transportation infrastructure, robust telecommunications network, and a tech-savvy workforce, and it’s easy to see why Virginia is the clear winner.

This award continues the positive recognition the Commonwealth has seen over the last year, with top rankings from Pollina Corporate Real Estate as the Top Pro-Business State, Business Facilities as No. 1 in Economic Growth Potential, and as the Best State to Make a Living.

Virginia Secures Area Development’s 2012 Silver Shovel Award

Virginia was recently awarded a Silver Shovel in the 5-9 Million population category by Area Development magazine.

As part of the magazine’s seventh annual ranking, the award recognizes states for attracting investment projects that created a high number of new jobs in calendar year 2011. States were selected for establishing policies that drive job growth, infrastructure improvements, and processes that attract new employers.

The award is based on each state’s top 10 projects that broke ground in 2011, using a number of weighted factors, such as number of new jobs created, size of investment, number of new facilities and the diversity of industries represented.

The ten outstanding projects that made Virginia a winner were:, ICF International, United States Green Energy, Soft Tech Consulting Inc., Katoen Natie,, International Paper, PPD Inc., Rubbermaid Commercial Products Inc., and Microsoft Corp.

American Legislative Exchange Council Gives Virginia a Top 3 Ranking For Economic Outlook

In its fifth edition of Rich States, Poor States, the American Legislative Exchange Council rated Virginia in the top three for its 2012 Economic Outlook Ranking. This forward-looking ranking comprises 15 equally-weighted state policy variables, including personal and corporate tax rates, as well as workers’ compensation costs, right-to-work status and even the quality of the state legislature.

As the highest-ranked state in the region, Virginia definitively outshined its competition. With a corporate tax rate of six percent that remains unchanged since 1972, a right-to-work regulatory environment, and an unemployment tax burden that is 32 percent lower than the national average, it is easy to see why this is the second consecutive year the Commonwealth has made the top three in this study.

Virginia’s pro-growth economic policies offer companies long-term incentives to invest in the Commonwealth. For example, Virginia was able to successfully compete against nearby Maryland on a number of recent headquarters relocation announcements, including Northrop Grumman, ITT Exelis, Bechtel Corp. (divisional headquarters), Acentia and Alpha Natural Resources.

To learn more about Virginia’s unique combination of assets that has allowed businesses to prosper here for more than 400 years, click here.

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