Governor John Engler today announced that Site Selection magazine has named Michigan the number one state in the nation for new plants and expansions. The magazine each year tallies each state's success in attracting new business facilities. In 1997, Michigan led the United States with 1,285 new facilities, taking the Site Selection Governor's Cup. "First the Detroit Red Wings, then the Michigan Wolverines, now the State of Michigan.
What a year for national championships for Michigan!" Engler said. "We had only 46 new facilities in 1991 and today we've increased that 28 times to become the hottest business address in the country. Our plan in 1991 was to try to get better, but today I'm pleased to say, we've ended up best. "To qualify for the Governor's Cup, projects must have at least $1 million or more in new investment or re-investment, 20,000 or more square feet of new construction, or they must create 50 or more new jobs. The projects cannot be retail or residential construction.Michigan ranked number one in the nation for new manufacturing facilities, with 278, according to the magazine.
The Governor also announced that the Detroit area ranked number one in new facilities among the nation's metropolitan areas. The state plans a new marketing campaign around the Governor's Cup, which is the latest and most prestigious award for the state's economic development efforts.
Other 1997 awards include being named as the best state in workforce development, the best agency for business attraction and the best public/private business partnership. The state will use the tagline, "In trying to get better, we ended up best," in brochures and advertisements, along with their new "Great Lakes. Great Location" slogan. "As Lloyd Carr of U of M will tell you, recruiting only gets easier when you win it all," said Doug Rothwell, CEO and Department Director of the Michigan Jobs Commission. "So we'll be out there with new brochures and new ads showing more businesses that Michigan is the best location in the nation.
Ultimately, this all boils down to a lot of good jobs for Michigan residents. "Michigan's 1,285 projects involve at least $17.4 billion in new investment. The total value of investment, however, likely tops $20 billion, as 24 percent of projects did not report investment figures. The state outpaced runner-up Ohio, which had 1,202 projects. The rest of the top ten are Texas (1,001), California (973), last year's winner North Carolina (880), New York (811), Florida (526), Illinois (375), Indiana (345) and South Carolina (303).
"Add this award to our low unemployment numbers, reductions in poverty, drops in welfare caseload and rise in income growth, and it's yet another area in which Michigan is doing better than the rest of the United States," Engler said. "We're not following any national recovery, we're leading the way."Tim Venable, editor of Site Selection magazine, praised Michigan's effort. "We've watched Michigan's turnaround through our annual rankings. From 23rd just a few years ago, to 7th, then 6th, and now winning the Governor's Cup, it's been an impressive rise to the top. They outpaced some very stiff competition," Venable said.Of the 1,285 projects counted by Site Selection, 233 were in Wayne County. Kent County came in second with 167, followed by Oakland with 166, Macomb with 128, Washtenaw with 66, Ottawa with 54, Ingham and Livingston tied with 32, Muskegon with 29 and Berrien with 28.