News & Media

North Carolina Wins Inaugural Platinum Shovel Award for Economic Development

Provided by Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on June 3, 2022 —

North Carolina is one of two states that has received Area Development magazine’s inaugural 2022 Platinum Shovel award which recognizes states that went beyond the gold standard for investment and job creation. Tennessee is the second state receiving the honor.

The Platinum Shovel award is part of Area Development’s annual celebration of economic development, which also includes the Gold and Silver Shovel awards. Among other states, North Carolina was previously honored by the magazine, having received Gold Shovel awards in 2018 and 2021 and Silver Shovel awards in 2009, 2011–2017, and 2019–2020.

“We are proud that North Carolina is being recognized nationally for the economic development successes we had in 2021,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “This award validates what we already know about our state – that we have the best workforce and quality of life in the country. Now it’s back to work on 2022.”

Area Development magazine presents the Annual Shovel Awards to states in recognition of their state economic development agencies and their achievements in job creation and economic impact through policies and processes that attract and develop new and existing businesses. All 50 states across the country submitted their top ten job creation and investment projects from 2021, which were then scored on the number of high value-added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities and industry diversity.

“By virtue of the fact that North Carolina’s 10 submitted projects will be responsible for the creation of more than 9,000 jobs and $6 billion in company investment, the state went beyond the gold standard and is receiving our new Platinum Shovel award,” said Area Development’s Editor Geraldine Gambale.

North Carolina also had two projects recognized as Projects of the Year. Apple’s research and development center in Wake County was recognized as Non-Manufacturing Project of the Year. The project will create 3,000 jobs and invest over $1 billion. Toyota’s first North American electric vehicle battery manufacturing plant in Randolph County won Manufacturing Project of the Year. The project will create 1,750 jobs and invest $1.3 billion.

“North Carolina had a notable year in 2021; we announced over 20,000 jobs and over $10 billion in investment. This positive trajectory out of 2021 has led to substantial project wins in early 2022,” said Christopher Chung, CEO of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC). “The EDPNC and our state and local partners have worked hard to make this happen, and we appreciate this national recognition.”

The 2022 Platinum Shovel award is not the only award for economic development North Carolina has won this year. Earlier this month, North Carolina won Site Selection magazine’s 2021 Prosperity Cup, an annual award given to state-level organizations with the most successful economic development and business development projects in their state for the previous year.

To read more about North Carolina’s economic successes in 2021, visit

To read Area Development’s report on this year’s Gold and Silver Shovel Award and Project of the Year award winners, click here

Source: Staff, “North Carolina Wins Inaugural Platinum Shovel Award For Economic Development.” EDPNC, June 3, 2022,