State College, located in central Pennsylvania, is home to Pennsylvania State University. The university, with its 40,000 students, is the city's largest employer, thanks in part to the 75% tuition discount it offers employees. But it also offers businesses a highly educated workforce, a small-business development center, and a strong source of innovation.
The manufacturing industry has slowed over the years, but growth has emerged in health services and business-to-business technology - top employers outside of the public sphere include defense contractor Raytheon and Jostens Printing and Publishing. Startups can grow in the city's 20,000-square-foot-incubator, which offers spaces specifically tailored to IT businesses, technology, and biosciences.
Residents enjoy a vibrant downtown full of restaurants, galleries, the State Theater and The Pennsylvania State Orchestra. Canoeing, hiking and cycling are just a few miles out of town in the Allegheny mountain region. -Peter McDougall and Mina Kimes