RIPLEY – Mississippi is one of five states to win the 2017 Gold Shovel award from Area Development Magazine for its economic development efforts.

The annual Gold and Silver Shovel Awards recognize states for their achievements in attracting high-value investment projects that will create a significant number of new jobs in their communities.

Area Development magazine collected information from all 50 states about their top 10, job creation and investment projects initiated in 2016. In selecting the Gold Shovel awards, the magazine weighed many factors including the number of new jobs to be created in relation to the state’s population, the combined dollar amount of the investments, the number of new facilities and the diversity of industry represented. The states with the highest weighted overall scores in their population category were awarded Gold Shovels. Mississippi won for the state with a population less than three million category. The other state winners were Illinois, Georgia, Arizona and Kentucky.

“By winning the Gold Shovel Award, Mississippi proves that it can compete and win in global economic development,” said Tippah County Development Foundation Executive Director Matthew Harrison.

Included among the top 10 projects Area Development Magazine looked at for Mississippi was $2.5 million project by Bauhaus Furniture in Ripley.

The Saltillo-based company announced in October 2015 its expansion into the 230,000 square-foot facility in Ripley, which had been the old Carolina Accents building in North Ripley Industrial Park. It had been a distribution facility for the company and was converted to manufacturing space and began manufacturing in late 2015.

“We at Bauhaus have been pleased with the progress of the expansion involving the Ripley facility. The local and state officials have been more than helpful with the improvements to the facility. We look forward to continuing the growth of this project and utilizing the talented labor force in Tippah County,” said Bauhaus CFO/COO, Blair Taylor.

“Bauhaus Furniture’s decision to locate in Ripley has made a significant impact to the local economy and we are looking forward to more development and continued job growth,” conveyed Harrison. “Economic development is about celebrating your wins, and Tippah County and Bauhaus are excited about this win!”

“We are pleased to be a part of the projects selected during the evaluation process. It’s worth noting that six out of the ten projects selected are from the North MS area. This shows how valuable the northern region is in the overall economic growth of Mississippi,” said Harrison.

Area Development magazine is considered the leading executive magazine covering corporate site selection and relocation.