Youngstown, Ohio

Youngstown, Ohio was the home of steel production in Ohio since its first blast furnace was built in 1803.  Because of its useful location nearly equidistant between established Cleveland and Pittsburg and the rich natural ore resources, Youngstown transformed from an agricultural town to a booming steel production center.  Steel production led to massive population growth, urban development, and the financial explosion of Youngstown.  But in 1977, on a date well known as Black Monday, Youngstown Sheet & Tube closed its doors for good and marked the turning point in Youngstown starting a domino-effect of steel manufacturers and fabricators vanishing from the vast employment scene.  In the wake of massive shutdowns and outsourcings, Youngstown’s substantial population began a decades-long quest to reemploy those looking for work and rebuild its failing economy.  With jobs lost, companies closed, and families stretched, the population of Youngstown today is less than half of the numbers in heyday of steel and manufacturing.  And facilities that produced vast quantities of steel and steel products through the end of the 19th and most of the 20th centuries stand as shells of their former glory if they’re still standing at all.