It's smooth sailing for job growth in Suffolk, thanks to the Navy's recent decision to relocate four commands here. The move will add nearly 1,000 jobs -- which is about the total number of new jobs added to the area in all of 2011.
The Navy found a solid berth. Suffolk is located close to the Port of Virginia, and like many of the places on our list, quality of life is a big selling point here. Schools, transportation and community are all strong in this city with historic charm.
Those strengths have lured a variety of businesses. The retail sector is growing, as are manufacturing and warehousing. Planters, now owned by Kraft, was started here a century ago and still operates a major peanut processing center.
These terrific small cities offer strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, quality health care, and a true sense of community.