Top 5 Reasons We Love to Work in Happy Valley


It’s no secret that when it comes to small towns, State College is a “Best Of” shoo-in – just ask USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, Time, Forbes, and National Geographic. We consistently top the charts for safest, happiest, and smartest towns in America, and it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re looking to enter the workforce, change your scenery, transfer to a different industry, or take a risk and strike up a new venture, working in Happy Valley is as good as post-childhood, pre-retirement life gets. Here are the top five reasons to get to work in Happy Valley.  

1. It’s an entrepreneurial hot spot.

Penn State President Eric Barron has, in implementing the Invent Penn State initiative, channeled attention and resources into cultivating the university’s entrepreneurial spirit. Startup boot camps and incubators like the Happy Valley LaunchBox are making space for cohorts of changemakers.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem envelops the greater community, with organizations like the Small Business Development Center and Chamber for Business and Industry in Centre County offering tools and services to startups. Happy Valley is the new Silicon Valley; bring your idea here and watch it bloom. 

2. We mean business.

To see all that innovation in action, look no further than Innovation Park at Penn State, where research and academia get down to business amid a wide range of resident companies both affiliated and unaffiliated with the university. Ben Franklin Technology Partners have helped companies like Schoolwires and Videon Central bloom into industry leaders.

Major corporations like Restek and AccuWeather have settled in Happy Valley, joining Penn State and Mount Nittany Health as leading employers that allow us to compete with sprawling metropolises in talent recruitment while maintaining our wholesome charm. Plus, established businesses have a pool of talented potential recruits in their own backyard. WE ARE!

3. You can have the best of all worlds.

We have all the perks of rural living – beautiful views, winding country roads, fresh produce and dairy year round, sprawling farmland, breathable air, and rustic getaways within minutes. Combine that with small town draws – quick commutes, relatively light traffic, plenty of supermarket options, safe neighborhoods, parks, and reputable school districts. Into that equation, throw some city appeal – top-notch entertainment, transplants from around the globe, a pedestrian-friendly downtown, boutiques, cool coffee shops, and award-winning restaurants. Sounds like a well-balanced recipe.

4. There’s a reason “Happy” is in our name.

As one of the nation’s largest public universities, Penn State shapes the culture of the surrounding area. In addition to doubling our population, students from near and far bring diverse perspectives and youthful animation when they settle at University Park. When those students decide to stick around after graduation, they do so because they love it here – engendering a sense of hometown pride that makes Happy Valley all the more lovable. 

5. Work hard, play hard.

There’s so much going on here, even during the quieter summertime. Local talent takes the stage at bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. Festivals transform our towns and villages (Boalsburg, Lemont, Bellefonte) into hubs of fun. And major events like the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts turn downtown into a bustling national cultural centerpiece. We have our very own minor league baseball team, several concert venues, nearby amusement parks, hiking and biking trails, and hosts of hobbyists and adventurers eager to connect with like-minded individuals. Whether you’re looking for a night out on the town or an afternoon of fun for the whole family, it’s here waiting for you – and let’s face it, you’ve earned it!


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