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Akron is known as an industrial center and center of the U.S. rubber industry. The area once produced over half the tires made in the United States, in addition to manufacturing other rubber, plastic, and chemical products. Although the majority of the production has shifted south and overseas, Akron remains a corporate center for tire companies, including Goodyear, Uniroyal-Goodrich, and GenCorp. The city has a strong pro-business climate and a strategic location to many US markets, and is slowly increasing its service-economy base.
Annual local events commanding national attention are the National Soap Box Derby and the PGA golf tournaments at Firestone Country Club. For a town its size, Akron does have some arts presence. The 23,000-student University of Akron and the nearby Kent State University add some college flavor. Cost of living and housing are reasonable. Nearby Cleveland offers many amenities and services not locally present.
The rolling to hilly terrain reaches its highest elevation at 1,300 feet. Many small lakes provide water for industry and recreation, and the landscape is a mix of open terrain and wooded areas. Because of the terrain, winter temperatures and snowfall vary considerably over the area, with more snow in the north. Lake Erie, which strongly influences the weather, tempers cold air masses during the late fall and winter and contributes to formations of brief but heavy snow squalls. In between the late springs and pleasant autumns, summers are moderately warm and quite humid. Fog is common, especially in the fall. First freeze is mid-October, last is late April.
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