Right to Work : New Year, Same Results

The Rio Grande Foundation is tracking 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 January, of 8,722 projected jobs, 6,823 — 78 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:


Fifteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Just two announcements went the other way.

RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment (FDI), too. Eleven projects are headed to RTW states, with two to occur in non-RTW states.

Marquee RTW wins included New York-based VOXX International’s opening of a “flagship” manufacturing facility in Florida (300 jobs), Ohio-based Toledo Molding & Die’s pick of Tennessee for a factory for “interior and air and fluid management systems” (250 jobs) and California-based Shift Technologies’s choice to build “its first East Coast operation” in Virginia (100 jobs).

Methodological specifics:

* 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.

* Intrastate relocations were not counted, interstate relocations were.