Leading the Way in Sustainability

Site Selection magazine is well known for its business climate rankings. It also features annual Sustainability Rankings that it says are based on statistical factors such as LEED-certified buildings, renewable energy use, brownfield funding, "green industry" facility projects and more.

Below are top 10 rankings for states, metro areas and foreign countries. Among individual measures for states, Massachusetts was No. 1 in energy efficiency, Washington for renewable energy generation and Pennsylvania for green industry projects per capita.

Top States

1. California

2. Oregon

3. Vermont

4. North Carolina

5. Arizona

6. New York

7. Minnesota

8. Washington

9. Texas

10. Pennsylvania

Top Foreign Countries

1. Canada

2. Germany

3. Brazil

4. Spain

5. China

6. United Kingdom

7. Italy

8. South Korea

9. Chile

10. Mexico

Top Metros (listing just the first city of metro area that typically encompasses three cities)

1. San Francisco

2. Washington, D.C.

3. New York

4. Chicago

5. Los Angeles

6. Phoenix

7. San Diego

8. Houston

9. San Jose

10. Boston

Columbus Earns Big Economic Honor

Columbus is known for its unique architecture, and for housing national headquarters for Cummins. But a national site selection magazine has given the city major kudos as the"Top Small City" in the U.S. for its economic attributes. Yet another asset for our great state.

Area Development, a national publication covering site selection and facility planning, today named Columbus, Indiana, the #1 U.S. city in its 2012 Leading Locations report. The publication ranked all 365 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) across 23 economic and work force indicators supplied by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Census American Community Survey.

Each MSA earned a best-to-lowest ranking, 1-365, within each of the 23 indicators, and the Columbus, Indiana MSA (which includes the city and surrounding Bartholomew County) realized the best overall performance across all indicators. Columbus also ranked as the #1 “Top Small City” in the U.S. (population under 160,000), the #1 “Top 20 Midwest City”, and received two top five and one top ten overall rankings in three sub-categories of Prime Work Force, Economic Strength, and Recession-Busting Cities.

“Accolades such as this are a very welcome acknowledgement of the type of business-friendly environment that we are working to provide in Columbus,” said Mayor Kristen Brown. “Even more important to us than national rankings, however, are the opinions of our local employers who ‘rank’ us each day by their continued investment and job creation activities.”

In its description of the local economy, the report referenced the sizable corporate headquarters of Cummins Inc., R&D and technology centers of Faurecia and Dorel Juvenile Group, and advanced manufacturing strengths exhibited by other leading employers such as NTN and Sunright America, both having announced hiring expansions in the last twelve months. Area Development highlighted the success this Midwestern community has had with local company expansions, noting that the community “has averaged one corporate expansion announcement a month since 2010, creating 1,840 jobs, and current employment figures there are the third-highest on record.”

“We are exceptionally strong in engineering talent, design expertise, and STEM-based education resources from grades K-16,” said Jason Hester, Executive Director of the Columbus Economic Development Board. “Combine those traits with our favorable business policies, a nationally recognized quality of life, and our central Midwestern location along I-65, and we like to think that we offer companies an ‘unexpected’ and ‘unforgettable’ place to do business.”

Area Development also announced the winners of its 2012 Gold & Silver Shovel Awards in recognition of projects undertaken in 2011 that are creating a significant number of high-value-added new jobs as well as investment. The ongoing Cummins headquarters office expansion in downtown Columbus, Indiana, was the state’s largest job-creation project cited in the report, helping Indiana win its fifth Shovel award in as many years. Once the new 130,000 s.f. office building is filled, Cummins will employ nearly 3,000 engineers, technicians, and professionals in a two-block area of downtown Columbus and more than 7,000 in total locally.

Other companies with recent expansions and hiring plans supported locally include Toyota Material Handling USA and Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, Enkei, LHP Software, Analytical Engineering, Rightway Fasteners, Nagakura Engineering, CAPCO, KAMIC, and several other Columbus-based enterprises.

Ranking the Best to Invest for 2011 Around the Globe

Site Selection magazine is well known for its tracking of business projects and rankings of economic activity. One of its newest projects (in its fourth year) is Best to Invest ratings. Half of the evaluation is based on its comprehensive database of new and expanded facilities, with the other 50% an analysis of business environment, business risks, foreign direct investment and infrastructure.

Here are top countries in five global regions. The metro rankings in these regions are based on similar factors as above, but with a slightly different weighting formula.

Western Europe

  • Top five countries: Ireland, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria and (tie) Switzerland and Italy. Top five metros: Dublin, Ireland; Frankfurt, Germany; Edinburgh, Scotland; Birmingham, England; and (tie) Belfast, Northern Ireland and Paris, France.

Eastern Europe

  • Countries: Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic and (tie) Estonia and Czech Republic. Metros: Budapest, Hungary; Moscow, Russia; Bucharest, Romania; Prague, Czech Republic; and Warsaw, Poland.


  • Countries: Singapore, Australia, (tie) Malaysia and South Korea, Vietnam. Metros (first three in China and last two in India): (tie) Beijing and Shanghai; (tie) Chongqing and Chennai; and Bangalore.

Africa and the Middle East

  • Countries: South Africa, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Metros: Port Elizabeth, South Africa; (tie) Nairobi, Kenya; Cairo, Egypt; and Kinsasha, Congo; and Casablanca, Morocco.

Latin America

  • Countries: Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Chile and Argentina. Metros: Sao Paulo, Brazil; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Mexico City, Mexico; (tie) Guadalajara, Mexico and Monterrey, Mexico.


National Experts Weigh In: RTW Making a Difference

In the economic development world, Site Selection magazine is a major player. People pay attention to its annual rankings and those in the business of helping identify new company locations regard it highly.

It’s no surprise that the publication would feature a story on Indiana’s right-to-work law. And the reaction of the site selection community is expectedly strong; after all, Indiana is the first state to make the RTW move in the last 11 years.

Below are a few very encouraging quotes from the article; find it in full here.

"It changes to the positive my perception of Indiana’s business climate," writes a site consultant. "My marketplace is north Texas. I can give personal testimony that my state has attracted many relocated facilities from the Midwest for two reasons: the absence of a personal and corporate income tax and Texas’ right-to-work laws. I would expect Indiana to be able to keep more of their existing employers now rather than watch them leave for greener pastures."

Also weighing in is Robert Price, director of Atlanta-based Herron Consulting: "This issue is also closely followed overseas," he notes. "Many of our offshore clients are aware of the implications of U.S. right-to-work laws, and the significance of these laws in the site selection decision process has not waned. Some states are exhibiting greater confidence in their ability to make difficult decisions as they come to terms with the ‘new economy,’ and the change in Indiana reflects this."

"This really puts pressure on the other states in the Midwest," says site selection consultant Bob Ady, president of Mount Prospect, Ill.-based Ady International Co. "Site selection is a question of differentiation, and this is a major differentiator for Indiana and its neighboring states and throughout the Midwest."

All things being equal, would Ady steer a client to an Indiana site today — or higher up on a finalist list of Midwestern states? "Yes," he says, "though we just make recommendations. It’s up to the companies in the end. I’m working right now with an international company that is now specifically considering Indiana, where it wasn’t previously. Right-to-work has already had an impact."

Brinegar on Today’s Right-to-Work Announcement by Statehouse Leaders

Comments from Indiana Chamber of Commerce President Kevin Brinegar on the announcement today by House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long that right-to-work legislation will take priority in the 2012 session:

“Passing a right-to-work law is the single most important action our lawmakers can take to put more Hoosiers back to work. Currently, we have more than 200,000 people unemployed in Indiana and many more at risk as employers deal with a still unstable economy. A right-to-work law would open the door to attracting new and expanding companies and the numerous jobs they bring.

“Site selection experts from across the country will tell anyone who will listen that between one third and nearly half of the companies that hire them to find a good location won’t even consider non right-to-work states for their business growth and expansion plans. So Indiana is automatically out of the running in far too many instances.

“Other Midwestern states such a Michigan and Kentucky are now looking at passing right-to-work to gain a dramatic competitive advantage for jobs. We cannot afford to fall behind the competition.

“Right-to-work is about creating jobs, economic growth and fairness. Arguments to the contrary are smoke and mirrors. Right-to-work laws do not prohibit labor unions or collective bargaining, but simply protect workers from being forced to join or pay dues and fees to a labor union.  Workers would still have the right to join or support a labor union, only now it would be his or her decision to make. That’s simply fair.

“Case in point, right-to-work legislation was passed more than 15 years ago for Hoosier teachers. It certainly didn’t destroy their unions or collective bargaining rights, and it didn’t result in lower wages for teachers.

“Going forward, the Indiana Chamber will work to help citizens and lawmakers realize that a vote for right-to-work is a vote for job creation and worker freedom. A person shouldn’t have to be forced to join a union in order to get or keep a job. Today was an important step and I applaud legislative leadership for displaying determination with this issue.”

More Accolades for Indiana Business Climate

In its November issues, Site Selection magazine has labelled Indiana as the most improved business climate in the nation. We were also named tops in the Midwest and number five in the nation. Inside INdiana Business has the info:

Indiana’s award-winning efforts to attract new jobs and investment comes as the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is on pace for a fourth consecutive year of success. Since January, 137 businesses have committed to create 17,297 new jobs and invest more than $4.1 billion in their Indiana operations. Despite the national economic slow down, the jobs-hunting agency is nearly at the same totals for job attraction as it was at this time in 2007.

Following the governor’s creation of the agency in 2005, the state has logged three years of record-level attraction of new job-creating investment. Cumulatively since its inception, the Indiana Economic Development Corporation has worked with nearly 620 companies that have committed to create more than 76,000 new jobs and invest more than $18.6 billion in their Indiana operations.