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Winston-Salem, N.C.
Winston-Salem, N.C.
Faced with a declining tobacco market, Winston-Salem, like Durham, made a deliberate effort to cultivate tech industries such as biotech and software development. RJ Reynolds, the country's second-largest tobacco company, is still headquartered in Winston-Salem, but it's no longer the city's leading employer: Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center now occupies that role.

In the early 1990s, the Chamber of Commerce's Technology Council spearheaded the foundation of Piedmont Triad Research Park to encourage the development of high-tech businesses, drawing on the well-educated labor pool generated by nearby colleges and universities.

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Last updated March 26 2008: 3:40 PM ET