Weirton is one of the eastern Ohio Valley’s region’s many small steel towns, dominated by the large International Steel Group’s Weirton works. Steubenville, across the Ohio River also has a steel heritage but has begun to diversify. The decline of steel and its related industries has led to higher unemployment, low job growth prospects and a significant population decline in recent years.
But, that trend has slowed and recent events position the area for a turnaround. A combination of low costs, local workforce, ground transport network, and strategic national location has brought a Wal-Mart distribution facility, which covers more space and employs more people than the existing central business district.
Steubenville is located on a level floodplain extending west from the Ohio River. Areas to the north and south are hilly, with dense deciduous forests. The climate is humid continental. The city is in a primary storm track located far enough north to receive a Lake Erie influence. Summers are warm and humid, while winters are fairly mild but subject to occasional cold snaps. Fall and spring are changeable. Long periods of cool, cloudy weather occur in all seasons. First freeze is late October, last is mid-April.