Siouxland Repeats…Again! Ranks First for Economic Development in 2013

Chris McGowan

SIOUX CITY, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota – For the second consecutive year (2012 and 2013), the Siouxland metropolitan region ranks first in the nation for economic development, according to results announced today by Site Selection magazine. The region also earned top billing in back-to-back years in 2007 and 2008.

The Siouxland Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which now also includes Plymouth County in Iowa, ranked first in the nation for the 2013 calendar year based on qualified economic development projects for communities with populations between 50,000 and 200,000 people. This is the fourth time in the last seven years that the Siouxland region has been recognized with this distinction.

Iowa Governor Terry E. Branstad, who was in town with Iowa Economic Development Authority Director Debi Durham for the announcement, welcomed the news which placed another Iowa city, Dubuque, in a three-way tie for first place in the same population category. “This ranking is confirmation that Iowa is making tremendous strides in economic development and I enthusiastically welcome both the job creation and capital investment that is driving Iowa’s economy in a positive direction,” said Governor Branstad.
Adam Bruns, Managing Editor of Site Selection magazine based in suburban Atlanta, traveled to Sioux City to make the official announcement to a gathering of nearly 250 local business executives, elected officials, and regional economic development professionals at a noon luncheon at the Sioux City Convention Center. “We did the research and tallied the numbers, but it’s the community and company leaders who are doing the work,” Bruns said. “The fact that the Siouxland region has earned this first place honor four times in the past seven years speaks to their collective vision, and the kind of continuity that gives company decision-makers confidence. It also speaks to the region’s ability to turn territorial lines into assets rather than obstacles — a concept state officials have obviously caught onto.”

Tracked and confirmed annually by Site Selection’s “New Plant Database,” qualifying projects must include new construction and meet at least one of three criteria: capital investment of $1 million or more, creation of a minimum of 50 new jobs, or the addition of at least 20,000 square feet of new floor space. Retail, government, school, medical office, and hospital projects are not eligible for consideration.

Jeff Lapke, who serves as Chairman of The Siouxland Initiative (TSI) and the President of Central Bank in Sioux City, accepted the award from Bruns and Site Selection magazine on behalf of the Siouxland region. “This is a direct result of companies demonstrating confidence in our community, as well as a great deal of hard work from our regional economic development professionals who strive to increase capital investment and create new employment opportunities each and every day,” stated Lapke.

The Siouxland metro first appeared in Site Selection’s top ten in 2006 with a third place ranking. The region ranked first in the nation in both 2007 and 2008, while finishing second in 2009. Siouxland did not make Site Selection’s top ten list in 2010 or 2011, but emerged at the top of the rankings in both 2012 and 2013.

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