This Just In: Michigan continues to rise in national business rankings

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this just in - michigan economic development corp

June 11, 2020

Michigan continues to rise in national business rankings

KLA grand opening

Ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand opening of KLA's new research and development center in Ann Arbor

Building on a record 19-point jump in Chief Executive magazines Best and Worst States to Do Business ranking, Michigan has been awarded a Silver Shovel Award for excellence in economic development and job creating projects by Area Development’s 15th Annual Gold & Silver Shovel Awards, announced today. Each year, the Shovel Awards recognize states that attract high-value investment projects that create a significant number of new jobs in their communities.

Michigan received recognition in the 8-12 million population category on the strength of projects including FCA’s historic $4.5 billion investment in Detroit and nearby in Macomb County, Ford Motor Company’s expansion at two of its key facilities and establishment of a new vehicle modification center in southeast Michigan, Acrisure’s relocation and expansion of its headquarters to downtown Grand Rapids and KLA’s new research and development center in Ann Arbor.

“Despite the unprecedented events during the past few months, we continue to remain focused on enabling economic prosperity for all Michiganders while helping support growth opportunities to secure the long-term economic health of our state,” said Mark A. Burton, CEO of MEDC. “This award is a recognition on a national level of the partnerships and opportunities Michigan offers for business expansion, job growth and future economic resiliency here in the state.”

Area Development’s annual Gold and Silver Shovel Awards recognize states for their achievements in attracting high-value investment projects that will create a significant number of new jobs in their communities. The awards are based on information from all 50 states about their top 10 job creation and investment projects initiated in 2019. Overall scores are determined by a combination of the number of new jobs to be created in relation to the state’s population, the combined dollar amount of the investments, the number of new facilities and the diversity of industry represented.

Today’s award is the 13th Michigan has won in the past 15 years, including the Gold Shovel award in 2011. With 13 total awards, Michigan is tied for fourth for the most shovels won in the Gold & Silver Shovel Awards’ history.

The Silver Shovel award comes on the heels of last week’s announcement by Chief Executive magazine that Michigan came in at the no. 13 spot on its annual “Best and Worst States to do Business” survey. Michigan soared up 19 spots from last year in the biggest single-year move in the ranking’s history. Chief Executive pointed to Michigan’s access to industrial and technical talent as a key ingredient to the state’s success.

These recent announcements join a growing list of accolades in 2020, including:

  • Business Facilities 2019 Deal of the Year going to FCA for investing $4.5 billion and creating 6,433 good-paying jobs at a new state-of-the-art assembly plant in Detroit and five existing Michigan facilities, which will enjoy expanded production as well as the ability to build fully battery electric models in the future.
  • Michigan ranked No. 4 in the prestigious 2020 Prosperity Cup by Site Selection magazine, jumping up from its No. 10 ranking last year. The publication recognized the success of the state’s business recruitment and retention efforts in the past year. The Detroit Economic Growth Corporation/Detroit Regional Partnership also ranked among the top local and regional economic development groups in the magazine’s Mac Conway Awards for Excellence in Economic Development.
  • A number of national travel and tourism accolades, including Travel + Leisure’s 50 Best Places to Travel in 2020, highlighting both the leisure travel opportunities but also overall quality of life available throughout the state.

To see why companies are choosing Michigan, visit To learn more about the services available from the MEDC to help businesses grow, go to