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Youngstown, OH (Population: 82,026)

Youngstown, located on the Mahoning River about 62 miles from Pittsburgh and 65 miles from Cleveland, has an estimated population of 82,026, making it Ohio's eighth largest city. The discovery of large coal and iron reserves prompted the city's inclusion along the famed Erie Canal by area industrialists. By the mid-19th century, Youngstown had developed into a thriving industrial center. Today, the city still is home to several steel and metalworking operations, including General Motors, Delphi, Packard Electric Systems, V&M Steel Company, and Exal Corporation.

In the late 1970's and 1980's, downtown Youngstown was in a serious state of decline, but with recent revitalization efforts and the help of two million dollars in federal grants, it has seen significant business growth. Downtown Youngstown has also been able to retain a traditional role as a financial center with the presence of several banks including First National Bank, Sky Bank, the Youngstown-based Home Savings and Loan, and the international firm of JP Morgan Chase.

Youngstown has been a long time center for entrepreneurs. Arby's, Arthur Treacher's Fish & Chips, Schwebel's Bakery, Handel's Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt and Good Humor all began operations in the city. Along with business, Youngstown is also known for several educational institutions like Youngstown State University, which includes the Dana School of Music; the Dana School has been considered equivalent in excellence to New York University, Yale University and Oberlin College. Kent State University maintains regional branches in the neighboring cities of Trumbull and Salem.

Despite recent economic hardships, Youngstown offers many cultural and recreational resources. Its newest addition is the Chevrolet Centre, which offers a variety of activities, including professional hockey games and on-ice performances. Other attractions include the Powers Auditorium, the Oakland Center for the Arts and the Youngstown Playhouse. For history and art enthusiasts, Youngstown has an several locations throughout the city like the Butler Institute of American Art, the McDonough Museum of Art, and on the YSU campus, the Clarence R. Smith Mineral Museum. Visitors and residents can also enjoy local history exhibits at the Arms Family Museum of Local History, the Youngstown Historical Center of Industry and Labor, and the Children's Museum of the Valley.

There are outdoor activities abound in the area with places like Mill Creek Park, which encompasses approximately 2,600 acres, 20 miles of drives, and 15 miles of hiking trails; and a beautiful collection of gardens, streams, lakes, woodlands, meadows and wildlife.