Since January 2015, the 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 December, of 20,411 projected jobs, 17,240 — 84.5 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:
Throughout three years of our tracking, RTW states have won every monthly “contest,” consistently garnering between 70 percent and 90 percent of the jobs to be created.
As for the sub-metrics the Foundation scrutinizes:
* Twenty-one domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Just two 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.
* Two relocations will be made from non-RTW to RTW states, with none moving in the other direction.
In Texas alone, marquee RTW investments included:
* Dollar General chose Longview for a “state-of-the-art” distribution center (400 jobs)
* Finisar, with “$390 million from Apple’s $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Fund,” plans to “transform a long-shuttered, 700,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Sherman” into a facility for “engineers, technicians and maintenance teams” (500 jobs)
* Automotive-parts firm CARDONE Industries “plans to build a state-of-the-art distribution center in … Harlingen” (750 jobs)
* Cognizant “will … open a regional technology and service delivery center” in Irving (1,090 jobs)
* 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.