Arizona Commerce Authority Receives Silver Shovel Award for High-Impact Economic Development Projects


PHOENIX, AZ (June 16, 2016)  Area Development, the leading publication covering site selection and facility planning, has announced that Arizona is a recipient of a 2016 Silver Shovel Award in the 5 to 8 million population category.


The Annual Shovel Awards recognize state economic development agencies that drive significant job creation through innovative policies, infrastructure improvements, processes and promotions that attract new employers as well as investments in expanded facilities. States are compared only to others in their population tier.


“The Arizona Commerce Authority is honored to have been awarded the 2016 Silver Shovel recognition,” said Sandra Watson, Arizona Commerce Authority President & CEO. “While this award represents only our top ten projects of 2015, to date we’ve worked with hundreds of companies who have committed to creating 50,030 projected new Arizona jobs – more than ten thousand ahead of plan – and generated $6.08 billion in capital investment, exceeding our five-year goal in only three years. We’re extremely proud of our work to help employ Arizonans and contribute to the health of our state’s economy.”


Each of the 50 states was invited by Area Development to submit information about its top-10 job creation and investment projects. Only those projects that began to materialize in 2015 were considered. The Shovel Awards are given to the states with the highest weighted scores based on number of high-valued added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities, and industry diversity. 


“The states and communities receiving 2016 Shovel Awards not only have the right combination of factors to attract and retain business,” says 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.”


A report on the 2016 Shovel Award winners is published in the Q2/2016 issue of Area Development and posted online at


Media Contacts

Susan Marie, Arizona Commerce Authority, (602) 845-1231, [email protected]

Gerri Gambale, Area Development Magazine, (516) 338-0900, Ext. 211, [email protected]


About the Arizona Commerce Authority

The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the state’s leading economic development organization with a streamlined mission to grow and strengthen Arizona’s economy. The ACA uses a three-pronged approach to advance the overall economy: attract, expand, create – attract out-of-state companies to establish operations in Arizona; work with existing companies to expand their business in Arizona and beyond; and help entrepreneurs create new Arizona businesses in targeted industries. For more information, please visit and follow the ACA on Twitter at @azcommerce.