(Editor’s note: The following press release was issued by the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz))

California Awarded Top Honors for Job Creation and Economic Development
Area Development Magazine Awards GO-Biz and California First-Ever Gold Shovel Award

Sacramento Calif. – Further bolstering California’s position as the national leader in job creation, the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) today announced that Area DevelopmentMagazine has awarded California its first-ever Gold Shovel Award for excellence in economic development and job creation.

“On behalf of the entire team at GO-Biz, we are honored that Area Developed has recognized California’s continued effort to add jobs and improve California’s business climate,” said GO-Biz director Panorea Avdis. “When Governor Brown took office in 2011 California did not even have an economic development office and now GO-Biz is recognized as one of the most robust and effective economic development entities in the nation.”

Today’s announcement builds upon a long trend of positive news for California’s economy. The Golden State has led the nation in total job creation for two straight years. In 2015, California created more jobs than Florida and Texas combined and California’s unemployment rate is at the lowest point in nine years.

So far in 2016, GO-Biz has seen an increasing the number of companies interested in relocating to California. In January, the tech company Flippbox announced they were moving their headquarters from Florida to Sacramento, CA. In April, Cerebain Biotech announced they were moving their headquarters and medical device manufacturing operation from Texas to Costa Mesa, CA and Florida-based virtual reality start up Magic Leap is expanding to California and creating approximately 140 jobs in the Silicon Valley thanks in part to a California Competes tax credit from GO-Biz.

“The states and communities receiving 2016 Shovel Awards not only have the right combination of factors to attract and retain business, they also display a pro-business attitude and marketing savvy,” said Geraldine Gambale, editor of Area Development. “They deserve to be recognized for winning high-impact economic development projects.”

California, Ohio, Tennessee, South Carolina, Nevada and Utah were awarded the top honors. California was recognized for ten major job creation projects. The complete announcement is available here.

What They Are Saying:

“As California has worked to strengthen our economy, GO-Biz has played a key role in helping companies locate, grow, and stay in our state,” said Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon. “The Gold Shovel Award is well-deserved, and one more indicator of GO-Biz’s great success.”

“GO-Biz has a proven track record of attracting and retaining companies and jobs throughout California,” said Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties and Chair of the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development. I’ve enjoyed working with GO-Biz and appreciate all it’s done to increase employment opportunities San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties.”

“Congratulations to GO-Biz in being recognized for your hard work and commitment to showcasing California’s strengths,” said Assembly Member Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella), chair of the Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy.  “Through your actions, a growing number of businesses throughout the U.S. are beginning to see why California is, and will continue to be, a global economic leader.”

“We are pleased to see California and GO-Biz receive this well-deserved recognition,” said Gurbax Sahota, President and CEO of the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED). “California is a great place to create, expand and locate business thanks to the tireless efforts of economic developers at the state and local level. Congratulations to the GO-Biz team and our awesome state!”

“This award validates all the hard work that GO-Biz has done on behalf of California, in promoting California’s assets, building strong, strategic public private partnerships, and creating real opportunities for all of California’s citizens to participate in,” said Pat Fong Kushida, President of the California Asian Chamber.

“Area Development got it right,” said Bill Allen, CEO of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation. “Despite the protestations of many states who try to compete with California solely on the cost of doing business, this Gold Shovel Award recognizes that California offers business owners a value proposition for growing their enterprises that simply can’t be beat.”

“California’s economic comeback simply wouldn’t have happened without the leadership and hard work of Gov. Brown and his GO-Biz team that this well-deserved award recognizes,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “The Bay Area Council has been proud to partner with the Governor and GO-Biz to improve the state’s business climate and promote California’s unparalleled competitive advantages to the world.”

“California is the most profitable state to do business,” said Barry Broome, President and CEO of the Greater Sacramento Area Economic Council. “And as the Golden Shovel Award proves, California is also the best place to locate, grow, and expand a business.”

“With its strong commitment to collaboration, California is providing a supportive, innovative ecosystem to start and grow companies,” said Mark Cafferty, President and CEO, San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation.  “Thanks to the leadership of GO-Biz and the work of our economic development peers throughout the Golden State, California’s economy remains the most diverse and robust in the country—receiving the recognition it deserves with the Gold Shovel Award.”