Utah has been awarded the “Gold Shovel” for significant job creation, infrastructure improvement and for leading the nation in fostering a world-class business environment. Area Development considered new companies attracted to the state in 2015, as well as the environment for homegrown Utah companies to invest locally and expand.

“It’s an honor to be recognized for the efforts to attract companies to Utah and promote the expansion of companies that have always called the beehive state home,” said Val Hale, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED).

Area Development awards gold or silver shovels to states that have the highest weighted scores in amount of high-value jobs added per capita, amount invested by companies, number of new facilities and industry diversity. Utah was among six states awarded.

“The states and communities receiving 2016 Shovel Awards not only have the right combination of factors to attract and retain business,” said Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development. “They also display a pro-business attitude and marketing savvy. They deserve to be recognized for winning high-impact economic development projects.”