Springtime for the Right to Work

The 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 May, of 11,357 projected jobs, 9,719 — 85.6 percent — were slated for right-to-work (RTW) states:


As is usually the case, no projects are to be located in New Mexico.

Nineteen domestic companies based in non-RTW states announced investments in RTW states. Just one announcement went the other way.

RTW prevailed in foreign direct investment, too. Six projects are headed to RTW states, with one to occur in non-RTW states.

New Mexico’s RTW neighbors to the east and west landed marquee investments. Caterpillar picked Arizona for its “new surface mining and technology operations,” which will create “more than 600 projected … jobs over five years, with employees in executive management, engineering, product development and support positions.” Italy-based SATA, “a high-tech components manufacturer,” selected Texas for a $114 million, 300-job “machining operation.” The Lone Star State also saw Hong Kong-based Lollicup commence operations at a 200-employee plant for “foodservice packaging products and … beverage ingredients.”

Outside of the Southwest, UTC Aerospace Systems — which is ending its Albuquerque presence — added 260 workers to its facility in Foley, Alabama. And Sparta Industries is slated to created 1,000 jobs in Georgia, to manufacture “foam insulation for use in the commercial building industry.”

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.