10. Solon, Ohio

150803_BPL__Solon
Courtesy of the City of Solon—2014 Roger Mastroianni
AT A GLANCE
Population 24,472
Median Income $98,026
Job Growth 4.9%
Median Home Price $245,056
Property Tax $6,313

On a typical weekday morning, it seems that as many cars make the rush-hour drive into Solon as those doing the 30-minute commute to downtown Cleveland. Among the 800-plus local businesses are divisions of the Cleveland Clinic and Nestlé and the world headquarters of Swagelok, maker of components for gas and fluid systems. The chamber of commerce aims to lure more businesses with tax breaks and job-creation grants.

Both the city and schools are working to teach students skills that could land them a job at one of those local businesses. A Young Innovators Society inspires kids from kindergarten on up to get into STEM fields, and a “Minnow Tank” contest for junior entrepreneurs will make its debut in January.

That doesn’t mean Solon is all work, no play. The town, which already has a popular community ­orchestra, just launched a band, and there are plenty of parks, trails, and riverside green spaces where locals can go to kick back. –Vanessa Richardson

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