ATLANTA - Dyersburg/Dyer County is the recipient of the Big Muddy Cup, an award from Site Selection magazine recognizing the top metro area along the entire length of the Mississippi River for private-sector facility projects per capita. The Union City metropolitan area, which reaches into Kentucky, ranked fifth.

The award from the 61-year-old Atlanta-based magazine is based on new and expanded corporate facilities tracked over the 18 months ending Dec. 31, 2014, by Site Selection publisher Conway's proprietary New Plant Database. Corporate projects in the Dyersburg area, which totaled 14 in 2014, are coming from such companies as Nortek Global HVAC (featured in the article), PolyOne, Eaton and NSK Steering Systems.

"There's a culture of manufacturing here that has persisted over the last 50 years, and by design we try to keep it diverse so we're not dominated by just one industry," Allen Hester, president and CEO of the Dyersburg/Dyer County Chamber of Commerce for the past 14 years, told Site Selection.

Lindsay Frilling, economic development director for the Obion County Joint Economic Development Council, said, "Obion County is deeply rooted in manufacturing, several of those operations being locally owned. One family-owned and operated business, Jiffy Steamer, recently celebrated 75 years. Our economic development team works diligently to recruit new business but works even harder to retain our existing businesses because we genuinely appreciate those that have already invested and are providing quality jobs in our community." Ranking just behind Dyersburg/Dyer County were Natchez, Miss.-La.; last year's Big Muddy Cup winner Dubuque, Iowa; and Burlington, Iowa-Ill.

The Top 10 Mississippi River Corridor Metros, per capita corporate facility projects include:

  1. Dyersburg - population 38,255, projects 14.
  2. Natchez, Miss.-Lousiana area - population 52,487, projects 12.
  3. Dubuque, Iowa - population 95,097, projects 17.
  4. Burlington, Iowa-Illinois area - population 47,383, projects eight.
  5. Union City-Kentucky area - population 37,865, projects five.
  6. Red Wing, Minn. - population 46,336, projects six.
  7. Blytheville, Ark. - population 45,562, projects five.
  8. Baton Rouge, La. - population 815,298, projects 79.
  9. Paducah, Ky.-Illinois area - population 98,539, projects nine.
  10. Clinton, Iowa - population 48,717, projects four.

Top Five Mississippi River Corridor Metros, total corporate facility projects include:

  1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wisconsin area - population 3.4 million, projects 86.
  2. Baton Rouge, La. - population 815,298, projects 79.
  3. St. Louis, Mo.-Illinois area - population 2.8 million, projects 77.
  4. New Orleans-Metairie, La. - population 1.2 million, projects 75.
  5. Memphis-Mississippi-Arkansas area - population 1.3 million, projects 47.

Site Selection's New Plant Database focuses on new corporate end-user facility projects with significant impact. New facilities and expansions included in the analyses must meet at least one of three criteria: (a) involve a capital investment of at least $1 million, (b) create at least 20 new jobs or (c) add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area. Site Selection magazine, published by Conway, delivers expansion planning information to 49,000 executives of fast-growing firms. The senior publication in the development field, Site Selection is also available via Site Selection Online. The publication also publishes or co-publishes e-newsletters, including The Site Selection Dispatch, Life Sciences Report, Aerospace Report and Energy Report; Site Selection International; The FDI Report; and Conway is an international publishing, consulting and association management company headquartered in Atlanta. Conway owns and manages Conway Lead Generation; London-based Conway Events, organizer of worldwide FDI events; Berlin-based Conway Advisory; New York-based Conway PR & Marketing, a leading PR and lead-generation firm; and manages the Industrial Asset Management Council and the Global FDI Association. Early in 2015 Conway signed an exclusive agreement for US location advisory services with Silverlode Consulting. Conway's Custom Publishing Division since 2013 has published major economic development guides for California, Kentucky, Mississippi, Iowa, Oklahoma and Wyoming, and later this year will publish the second edition of "The World's Most Competitive Cities" report.

Story courtesy of Union City Daily Messenger