HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Numbers out by the Milken Institute rank Harrisonburg in the top 12 % when it comes to sustaining jobs and economic growth.
The Milken Institute Best-Performing Cities Index ranked Harrisonburg number 22 this year.
Harrisonburg's Economic Development Director Brian Shull said that with James Madison University, Bridgewater College and Eastern Mennonite University nearby, there are plenty of jobs in higher education.
Rockingham Memorial Hospital and Rosetta Stone are other major employers that influence the city's ranking. Last year the city ranked at number 18 among other small cities.
Shull said the reason for this year's drop is because Texas communities saw major growth in the energy sector.
"We feel very, very lucky here. We don't see the big peaks and valleys that a lot of communities do. I think we are very well positioned and we are going to continue to see great things," Shull said.
He said a big way Harrisonburg and surrounding metros will keep growing is by strengthening relationships with colleges and universities. Those partnerships with schools lead to students staying in the area and joining the local workforce.
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