11. Livingston Parish, LA
Livingston Parish, LA
Towns include: Denham Springs
Job growth (2000-2010): 42.9%

Livingston Parish wants to make the grade with manufacturing. With generous state tax incentives in hand, the area is luring a wide range of businesses to set up shop, including giants like the Shaw Group and smaller operations like Ferrara Fire Apparatus, a maker of fire engines.

Health care also is becoming a major industry here. North Oaks Health Systems opened an outpatient medical center with 100 workers and plans for 200 more. Meanwhile, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center broke ground on a facility that should create 200 jobs.

Also in the works: the long-awaited Juban Crossing, a multi-use development set to open in 2012. Kohl's is slated to be one of the first retailers to open in the complex, which will include office space, homes and medical facilities. Construction is creating an estimated 1,500 jobs, with 5,000 more expected when the site is up and running.


Last updated August 19 2011: 7:00 PM ET
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These terrific small towns -- even now -- boast great job opportunities, top-notch schools, safe streets, economic strength, and more.

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