Top 10 U.S. Economic Development Groups for 2013

The May issue of Site Selection magazine has their annual listing of the top 10 U.S. economic development groups for the previous year.

Southwest Louisiana

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Louisiana swept the list with three of its organizations named in the top ten, including the Baton Rouge Area Chamber, Greater New Orleans Inc., and the Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.

Texas had two of its organizations/areas on the list, including the Dallas Regional Chamber and Fort Worth Chamber representing the DFW area, and the Greater Houston Partnership.

The other five organizations named in the top ten list are as follows:-

– Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership, Omaha, NE;

– Greater Phoenix Economic Council, Phoenix, AZ;

– Metro Atlanta Chamber, Atlanta, GA;

– Pittsburgh Regional Alliance Pittsburgh, PA; and

– World Business Chicago, Chicago, IL.

The Southwest Louisiana Economic Development Alliance, which covers the region surrounding Lake Charles, topped the list in terms of capital investment by attracting $10.65 billion for announced projects in 2013, along with 817 permanent jobs and thousands of construction jobs.

Greater Houston was close behind, attracting $10 billion in capital investment and creating 10,683 jobs.

Greater Phoenix topped the charts among all U.S. metro areas in terms of job creation by adding 18,266 jobs in 2013, along with $2.67 billion in capital investment. Metro Atlanta wasn’t far behind, adding 15,203 jobs and attracting $3.1 billion in capital investment.

Chicago racked up the highest number of corporate facility projects (373) for the year, in the process creating 11,085 jobs and attracting $2.8 billion in capital investment.

Headquarters relocations to downtown Chicago announced in 2013 include Gogo Inflight and ADM. Last month, Motorola Mobility completed a relocation to the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. United Airlines likewise moved their corporate headquarters to the Willis Tower alongside their operations center, and signed one of the largest office leases in Chicago’s history.

The Motorola and United Airlines projects were announced in Aug 2012, so they don’t figure into Chicago’s 2013 successes. They are, however, part of an ongoing trend of corporate headquarters relocating to Chicago from all over Illinois and beyond.

Jeff Malehorn, president and CEO of World Business Chicago, is quoted in the Site Selection report as saying that more relocations are on the way.

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