Portage County, Ohio, an exquisite gem of a county, offers something for everyone. Predominantly a rural area, Portage County enjoys a relaxed, country pace of life, while being located within easy reach of both the metropolises of Akron and Cleveland.
Portage County is 504 square miles of gently rolling pastureland, with over 700 farms that are primarily still family owned. Home to more than 152,000 people according to the 2000 Census, over 2500 businesses thrive here. Manufacturing and distribution companies are the primary employers, such as G.E. Lighting and Daimler-Chrysler Mopar Distribution Center.
Ideally located in the middle of northeastern Ohio’s urban hubs, Portage County provides access to an excellent transportation network to major city markets.
Education is highly prized here, and the labor force available is well educated and experienced. Kent State University, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Hiram College, Bohecker’s Business College and the Maplewood Career Center are all located within the county, while 30 other universities and colleges lie within an easy drive.
The city of Kent, known as the original Tree City, is ideally located a mere 12 miles from Akron and 31 miles from Cleveland. Kent’s population of almost 28,000 enjoy access to both Interstates 76 and 80, (the Ohio Turnpike) allowing them to take part in all the cultural delights of the city, along with entertainment and shopping. More than 25,000 students enroll each year at Kent State University.
The county seat of Portage is Ravenna, population 12,100. A twenty-minute drive will take one to Akron, while Cleveland lies 45 minutes to the north. Ravenna, Ohio is rich in history. Founded in 1799, it was the site of the first glass works established in Portage County, as well as the birthplace of the Quaker Oaks Company in 1879. Today the town works hard to maintain its original architecture and heritage. Each year Ravenna holds a Hot Air Balloon-Fest, commemorating the past when the town manufactured the first toy balloons in the nation.
Portage County, Ohio holds a bright vision for its future. The area is full of potential for new business growth, while the leaders of the county guard its past and its heritage wisely. The rural tradition and high quality of country living, the clean air and slower pace of life will continue, even as new residents and firms locate here.