September 6, 2013
For the second year in a row, American Electric Power is one of the top 10 utilities in the country for encouraging economic development, according to Site Selection magazine.
The Columbus-based utility played a role in projects that will lead to a projected 16,339 jobs and $2.2 billion in investment across its 11-state territory, the magazine said.
That includes a steel plant in Louisiana, a furniture factory in Virginia and a Discover Card data center in New Albany, among others. The Discover project was announced in 2012 with plans for 162 jobs.
“Our success is very closely tied to the success of the places where we’re located,” said Mark James, AEP’s vice president of economic and business development. “We have got to be proactive at ensuring that the economies we are in are as healthy as we can be.”
He supervises an office with 17 employees; five are at AEP’s Downtown headquarters and the other 12 are based at regional offices.
Akron-based FirstEnergy was also one of the utilities that made the Site Selection list. It was credited with playing a role in projects that will lead to a projected 7,900 jobs and $2.7 billion in investment across its six-state territory.
Duke Energy, which serves the Cincinnati area and is based in North Carolina, was also among the top 10.
The top 10 were listed in alphabetical order, not ranked.
AEP, FirstEnergy and Duke have all appeared on the list in prior years.
For AEP, this was the fourth time on the list in six years, and the second year in a row.