Springfield, in southwestern Ohio, was once a booming industrial and agricultural center. However, the city has suffered in the last few decades as industry has struggled. In recent years, though, the city has begun a series of measures to attempt an economic comeback. This Springfield Renaissance includes a corporation to promote home ownership and housing development, a brownfields restoration program, and infrastructure to draw information technology business to the city.
Springfield's population numbers have been slowly eroding for about four decades. There are currently about 62,400 residents, down from a high of almost 83,000 in 1960. Springfield residents are a mix of white- and blue-collar workers. About 13 percent of adults have a bachelor's degree or higher. Many people in the Springfield workforce are employed as sales and office workers, service providers, and manufacturing workers.
The top employers for Springfield and its surrounding area attest to a diversified economy. The major employers come from several sectors--health care, government, education, and manufacturing. Springfield's largest employers include the following:
As part of its development efforts, Springfield boasts the 200-acre Nextedge Applied Technology and Research Park. It is home to several firms, including facilities for LexisNexis and the Ohio Supercomputer Center.
The city also features three industrial parks:
The area's fastest-growing industries are education and health services, financial services, and finance and insurance.
The city established the Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield in 2002 to strengthen neighborhoods by boosting home ownership opportunities. About 51 percent of Springfield realty is owner occupied, with another almost 39 percent occupied by renters. There is also a fairly high amount of vacant property in town.
The price of Springfield real estate varies greatly by neighborhood. Less expensive areas tend to be toward the middle of the city; more expensive areas are mostly around the city's perimeter. Springfield neighborhoods include the following:
Buck Creek State Park: The 2,100-acre manmade C. J. Brown Dam and Reservoir, along with its 5,000 acres of parklands, offers boating, fishing, swimming, hiking, biking, and picnicking.
Westcott House: This house, the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Prairie Style house in Ohio, was refurbished completely in 2005 and is open for guided tours.
Summer Arts Festival: Running from June through July, the largely open-air arts festival focuses on arts across the spectrum.
Clark County Fair: The second-largest fair in the state features a midway, food and agriculture competitions, and entertainment each July.
Springfield is home to two higher-education institutions:
Springfield is home to a rich arts community with many cultural institutions: