Area Development magazine released today its fall 2012 Top States for Business survey results based on responses from location consultants who work with national client bases. Each consultant was asked to list their top five choices in 14 areas of site selection. Overall, North Carolina ranked fifth, rising from seventh in last year's study. In the critical component of overall labor climate, North Carolina ranked second in a tie with neighboring South Carolina.
Among the 14 selection factors for which feedback was solicited, North Carolina ranked in the top five states in 10 factors. In addition to the labor climate factor, North Carolina also ranked second for certified sites and shovel-ready programs and third in leading the economic recovery. The state also ranked third for availability of skilled labor.
The complete list of top-five site selection factors for North Carolina include:
2nd Overall labor climate (tie); certified sites or shovel-ready programs
3rd Availability of skilled labor (tie); access to capital and funding; leading the economic recovery (tie)
4th Leading workforce development programs (tie); competitive utility rates (tie)
5th Cost of doing business (tie); competitive labor costs (tie); overall business environment (tie)
Area Development cites North Carolina’s appeal to multiple industry sectors, noting recent decisions by companies such as Ralph Lauren, Linamar, Schletter and Hospira to locate or expand operations in the state. North Carolina's high ranking in capital availability was attributed in large part to the One North Carolina Fund, one of the state's performance-based financial incentive programs.
"North Carolina is another example of a state with a diversified economy," said Scott Redabaugh, Managing Director and site consultant at Jones Lang LaSalle. "The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Research Triangle area is a center for pharmaceutical and biotechnology R&D, as well as IT operations, while Charlotte continues to serve as a financial services center with capacity for higher-skilled back-office operations."
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