Since January 2015, the Rio Grande Foundation has tracked announcements of expansions, relocations, and greenfield investments published on Area Development‘s website. Founded in 1965, the publication “is considered the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation. … Area Development is published quarterly and has 60,000 mailed copies.” In an explanation to the Foundation, its editor wrote that items for Area Development‘s announcements listing are “culled from RSS feeds and press releases that are emailed to us from various sources, including economic development organizations, PR agencies, businesses, etc. We usually highlight ones that represent large numbers of new jobs and/or investment in industrial projects.”
In August, of 18,301 projected jobs, 15,076 — 82.4 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
As for the sub-metrics we track:
* Sixteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. None went the other way.
* RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment, too. Nineteen projects are headed to RTW states, with three to occur in non-RTW states.
* One relocation will be made, from RTW to non-RTW: VF Corporation, “a global apparel and footwear” manufacturer, will move its headquarters from North Carolina to Colorado.
Marquee RTW investments in August included:
* Cognizant “opened its newest U.S. regional technology and service delivery center” in Texas, hiring 1,100 to “provide a variety of services for … Dallas-area clients in various industries, including insurance, healthcare and retail”
* Cognizant also cut the ribbon on another “U.S. regional technology and service delivery center,” creating employment opportunities for 500 “full-time, highly-skilled technology and business professionals” in Arizona
* Poland-based Press Glass, “the largest independent flat glass processing operation in Europe,” picked Virginia to invest $43.55 million in a “manufacturing operation” (212 jobs)
* Corning Inc., based in New York, chose North Carolina for “a cable manufacturing facility for its Optical Communications business segment,” with plans to “create approximately 110 jobs over the next five years”
* All job estimates — “up to,” “as many as,” “about” — were taken at face value, for RTW and non-RTW states alike.
* If an announcement did not make an employment projection, efforts were made to obtain an estimate from newspaper articles and/or press releases from additional sources.
* If no job figure could be found anywhere, the project was not counted, whether it was a RTW or non-RTW state.
* Non-border-crossing relocations were not counted, border-crossing relocations were.