Open space, affordability and friendliness are just a few of the reasons Midwesterners love where they live. Here are a few cities that make it to the top of our list.
Is a move to Cleveland in your future? As far as work opportunities, the Greater Cleveland area is home to several Fortune 500 companies, like Sherwin-Williams, Progressive Insurance and the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, just down in Akron. Many analysts say that between 2011 and 2022 there will be 150,000 new jobs in Cleveland. Plus, schools like Oberlin and Case Western and healthcare powerhouses like the Cleveland Clinic and Children's Hospital are big employers in the area.
But let's talk fun. During the summer, everyone loves Lake Erie's beaches and state parks. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, designed by genius I.M. Pei, is an amazing museum (it's shaped like a record player). Plus, Forbes magazine recently included Cleveland among the 15 U.S. cities with emerging downtowns. Nice.
Let's Do Dayton
Dayton's downtown area continues to grow, and the suburbs around Dayton are consistently rated among the best places to live. In fact, nearby suburban Springboro was recently named one of the best places to live by CNNMoney. Along with some great museums (Dayton Art Institute and National Aviation Hall of Fame), Dayton has a host of good restaurants and a nightlife that keeps its 2,000 downtown residents hopping.
The Dayton area proves that jobs in the Midwest are coming back, albeit slowly, after the difficult recession. Unemployment in the area is declining, and just recently P&G announced that it plans to create 800 new jobs in Dayton. Developments in the health and finance sectors are creating new jobs; plus, the auto glass manufacturer Fuyao, which is new to the area, is expected to hire about 800 employees over the next three to five years.
The biggest city in the Midwest, Chicago continues to enjoy its reputation as the city of cool. Music, art, restaurants, theater, beautiful architecture, music and sports—the Windy City is arguable one of the country's finest—except in February. When you're not freezing, the miles of beaches along Lake Michigan are a dream.
According to Bloomberg News, as of the end of May 2014 business activity in the Chicago area—including the western suburbs—unexpectedly increased to a seven-month high. Plus, the Chicago area is set to receive special attention (that is, a boatload of money) under a new federal program designed to attract manufacturing companies and create jobs in the Midwest.
Start your engines for the capital of Indiana. From the downtown Massachusetts Avenue arts district to Eagle Creek Park & Marina to the Indy Motor Freeway, Indianapolis offers lots to do. A lively nightlife (Slippery Noodle, anyone?) and happening restaurants (check out Bluebeard and Plat 99) maintain the city's cool factor.
As far as jobs, Indiana has added more manufacturing jobs in the Midwest—13,400—than any other state in the past year. The city is home to major conventions and sporting events, plus events like the Indy Jazz Fest, Indiana Sate Fair, Heartland Film Festival and, of course, the Indy 500.