The Foundation is tracking announcements of expansions, relocations, and greenfield investments published on Area Development‘s website. Founded in 1965, the publication “is considered the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation. … Area Development is published quarterly and has 60,000 mailed copies.” In an explanation to the Foundation, its editor wrote that items for Area Development‘s announcements listing are “culled from RSS feeds and press releases that are emailed to us from various sources, including economic development organizations, PR agencies, businesses, etc. We usually highlight ones that represent large numbers of new jobs and/or investment in industrial projects.”
In December, of 11,030 projected jobs, 7,945 — 72 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:
* Eight domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Four announcements went the other way.
* RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment, too. Fifteen projects are headed to RTW states, with three to occur in a non-RTW state.
* One relocation crossed the RTW border — Leeds Look Listen, which offers “an unusual combination of high-end home sound systems and interior design services,” moved from New York to Idaho.
Marquee RTW investments included:
* Orbital ATK chose to expand its “Launch Vehicles Division operations into an additional facility” in Arizona (500 jobs)
* PL Developments, “a manufacturer, packager and distributor of pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare products,” invested $45 million to expand its campus in South Carolina (450 jobs)
* W.W. Grainger opened a “new operations and sales facility” In Texas (200 jobs)
Once again, no job-creating investments were announced for the Land of Enchantment. Let’s hope for better results in 2017….
* All job estimates — “up to,” “as many as,” “about” — were taken at face value, for RTW and non-RTW states alike.
* If an announcement did not make an employment projection, efforts were made to obtain an estimate from newspaper articles and/or press releases from additional sources.
* If no job figure could be found anywhere, the project was not counted, whether it was a RTW or non-RTW state.
* Non-border-crossing relocations were not counted, border-crossing relocations were.