Portsmouth is located at the confluence of the mighty Ohio and Scioto rivers in southeastern Ohio, a small city of 20,000 that was once known as a thriving manufacturing and industrial hub nestled between larger ports such as Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. In recent years, though, Portsmouth has struggled to find its footing due to outsourcing and the loss of numerous blue-collar jobs.
But the community is in the midst of a resurgence. Anchored by Shawnee State University, dedicated community groups, and supportive businesses entities, Portsmouth is once again taking control of its future — labeling itself “the Comeback City.” It boasts great higher education options, a central location between large metropolitan areas, and ecotourism is close by at the Shawnee State Forest.
The Shawnee State Kricker Innovation Hub was established to be a leader in regional entrepreneurship. The landmark facility, located in an historic Gilded Age clothing factory in Portsmouth’s downtown, promotes innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship by helping existing businesses and startups realize their vision and potential.
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Today, these local leaders are focused on educating and training local residents in digital skills (especially those traditionally excluded from the tech industry), employing them in new economy jobs, and empowering them to launch startups that will drive a prosperous 21st-century economy. Diverse in geography, economic origin, and demographics, these communities represent the full spectrum of rural America.