Located right next to Albany, the capital of New York state, Rensselaer county has a fair share of people that work in state government.
Like many regions of the Northeast, the area struggled to replace the textile and other industries that long ago fled for cheaper locales. But unlike some other places, Rensselaer county seems to be succeeding.
In the county's largest town, Troy, locals credit the rejuvenation of the downtown area with attracting both young people and retirees who want to live in a more walkable, urban setting.
Technology is another one of the area's many attributes.
"There's a tech valley drive in the Hudson Valley," said J.J. Williams, chair of entrepreneurship at Hudson Valley Community College.
Several tech firms have sprung up in the region, including chip maker GlobalFoundries, which recently opened a giant facility just north of Troy. The area's many colleges, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, are given a lot of the credit for the turnaround.