The Siouxland metropolitan region, once again, ranks first in the nation for economic development, according to results announced this morning by Site Selection magazine. The Siouxland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) ranked first in the nation for the 2012 calendar year based on qualified economic development projects for communities with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 people. This is the third time in the last six years that the Siouxland region has been recognized with this distinction.
Ron Starner, Executive Vice President of Site Selection magazine based in Norcross, Georgia, traveled to Sioux City to make the announcement to a gathering of nearly 100 local business executives, elected officials, and regional economic development professionals.“The Siouxland metro has once again emerged as the top economic development community in their population category,” said Starner. “The significant number of business expansions that took place in this market in 2012 is a clear indication of the confidence business executives and key decision makers have in this community.” Starner emphasized that communities which consistently rank in the top ten nationally share a reputation for competitive cost structures, a strong work ethic, robust transportation infrastructures, and exceptional quality-of-life amenities which lead to continued economic growth.
Jeff Lapke, who serves as Chairman of The Siouxland Initiative (TSI) and the President of Central Bank in Sioux City, welcomed the national recognition. “We are pleased and proud of this recognition which serves as confirmation that we are continuing to make progress toward our goals of increased capital investment, along with enhancing the number and quality of employment opportunities throughout the tri-state region.”
The $1.7 billion announcement made by CF Industries, last November, coupled with major expansions at Sabre Industries, Tyson Foods, Gerkin Windows and Doors, and Royal Canin, along with a dozen and a half other economic development projects contributed to Siouxland’s 23 qualifying projects for the calendar year.
Tracked and confirmed annually by Site Selection’s “New Plant Database,” qualifying projects must include new construction and meet at least one of three criteria: capital investment of $1 million or more, creation of a minimum of 50 new jobs, or the addition of at least 20,000 square feet of new floor space. Retail, government, school, medical office, and hospital projects are not eligible for consideration.
Garry Smith who served as TSI’s Chairman in 2012 and leads the American Pop Corn Company commended the region’s local business leaders and regional economic developers, who he indicated deserve much of the credit for today’s news. Smith, whose own company recently completed a major local expansion stated, “I am very pleased to see the number of executives who have decided to grow their operations right here in Siouxland. I applaud their commitment to our community and appreciate the support and cooperation they receive from our regional economic development professionals. By working together, they demonstrate how we can continue to grow our local economy and create new opportunities for our citizens.”
The Siouxland metro first appeared in Site Selection’s top ten in 2006 with a third place ranking. The region ranked first in the nation in both 2007 and 2008, while finishing second in 2009. Siouxland did not make Site Selection’s top ten list in 2010 or 2011.
For more information, please visit www.siteselection.com.