Wake County is North Carolina's Capital County in more ways than one. While it's home to Raleigh, the seat of the state government, it's also a major magnet for business capital. IBM, GlaxoSmithKline and Cisco Systems are among the corporate heavyweights that operate here.
At the heart of the county's job success is its 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park. Duke, the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State provide a strong talent pool, which attracts Fortune 500 companies and entrepreneurs alike.
At least 1,740 new jobs have been added in Wake County since the start of the year by employers ranging from open-source software firm Red Hat to start-up Evatran, which develops charging systems for electric vehicles.
These terrific small cities offer strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, quality health care, and a true sense of community.