Beaver County sits just northwest of Pittsburgh and is within easy access of downtown, the Pittsburgh International Airport and northeastern Ohio. The Ohio River runs through it, and was the artery that helped give rise to the glass industry in the 19th century and steel in the 20th. Jones & Laughlin Steel (J&L, or "jane ell" to locals) in Aliquippa was a major employer until the 1980s. Today the county's top employment sectors are healthcare, manufacturing and retail trade. In the wake of the development of the Marcellus Shale natural gas play, Shell Chemical is considering building a petrochemical facility on the site of a former zinc smelter near Monaca, which could employ as many as 400 people once operational.
The landscape is characterized by gently rolling foothills and valleys of the Appalachian Mountain Range, and is rich in hunting and fishing opportunities, cultural events and festivals, and historical and heritage sites. Attend any one of the dozens of cultural events and ethnic festivals held throughout the year. Learn about WWII aviation at the Air Heritage Museum. Imagine yourself as a member of the 19th century communal Harmony Society at Old Economy Village in Ambridge. Visit the Beaver County Industrial Heritage Museum in Darlington, where on summer Fridays you can catch a polo match. Marvel at a wooden chapel at the Greek Catholic Union in Beaver. Trace your family's heritage at the Beaver County Genealogy and History Center.
Green space is abundant, featuring Raccoon State Park, four public parks and numerous community parks provide a wide range of active and passive recreational opportunities. Single family homes are predominant, and many of the older river towns are being reinvigorated by new trails and pedestrian-friendly access.