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West Virginia gets Silver Shovel Award

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A publication that focuses on site selection and facility planning has recognized West Virginia recently.

Area Development has given the Mountain State a 2013 Silver Shovel award, which the publication gives to recognize states with significant success in economic development and job creation.

This is the first time West Virginia has received the award, which has been given out for the past eight years.

"This award is a testament to the many pro-growth reforms – from workers' compensation reform to the Horizontal Well Act – that our state has undertaken to encourage new and existing businesses to expand their roots in our state," Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in a news release.

Area Development asked every state to submit information about its projects that began in 2012, and the awards were given to the states with the highest weighted scores based on the number of high value-added jobs per capita, amount of investment, number of new facilities and industry diversity.

"The states receiving 2013 Shovel Awards deserve special recognition for their efforts to attract new businesses and to help their existing corporate citizens to expand their businesses," Area Development Editor Geraldine Gambale said in a news release. "They have managed to thrive and emerge from the recession as economic leaders."

States competed against other states of comparable population size. West Virginia was in the fewer than 3 million population category.

A total of 19 states were given gold and silver shovels, with Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Kansas claiming the 2013 Gold Shovel Awards. The states joining West Virginia in its category for the Silver Shovel Award were Mississippi, North Dakota and Utah.