Charleston West Virginia Economic Development

Discussions on Economic and Community Development in West Virginia and the Charleston MSA as well as issues of the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The column below appeared in the Nov. 20 Charleston Daily Mail.

Business Week names Charleston
one of best places to raise kids

by George Hohmann
Daily Mail Business Editor

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Business Week has singled out Charleston as one of the "Best Places to Raise Your Kids."

Matt Ballard, president and chief executive officer of the Charleston Area Alliance, noted that this kind of recognition is worth its weight in gold when companies consider whether to transfer executives into a community.

The cities in surrounding states picked by Business Week and the magazine's comments:

Virginia Beach, Va., "has 35 miles of beaches, 121 navigable miles of waterways, and more than 18,600 acres of state parks and wildlife refuges."

Pittsburgh, Pa."was once known as a steel town, but it has expanded into other industries including health care, technology, and financial services. It has 28 colleges and universities, 200 museums and art galleries, and a low crime rate."

Columbus, Ohio, in addition to being the state capital, is also home to Ohio State University, the country's largest college campus. "Columbus is a vibrant city with a strong arts scene and an excellent zoo."

Gaithersburg, Md., "a former farming town at the terminus of the D.C. Metro's Red Line, is a diverse, affordable place with a shopping district called "Old Towne" that dates back to the 19th century."

Lexington, Ky., "home to the University of Kentucky, is known as the 'horse capital of the world.' But there's more to Lexington than its horse parks and racecourses. Lexington has ballets, orchestras, and museums, and a highly educated populace."

Mount Prospect, Ill., a quiet Chicago suburb, tops Business Week's second annual list as the best, most affordable place to raise kids.

"Founded by German immigrants and incorporated in 1917, Mount Prospect hasn't strayed far from its values of fiscal conservatism and community involvement, even as it has expanded to include new immigrants from Poland, Mexico, Korea and India," Business Week said. "It is a middle-class community with low crime, affordable homes, award-winning schools, ethnic restaurants, a major regional mall, and a small-town charm that makes the big city less than an hour away seem much farther away."


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