The loss of its major employer during the Great Recession put the southwest Ohio city of Wilmington in the national spotlight.

Now the community that was dubbed "ground zero" of the recession and drew help from celebrities such as Rachael Ray and Jay Leno hopes to be known as a comeback city.

There are some positive signs, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (KAY'-sik) will help spotlight them when he returns Feb. 24 to deliver his State of the State address. Unemployment that topped 19 percent at its worst five years ago has fallen steadily, to below 6 percent.

Total jobs remain well below pre-recession numbers, and household incomes are down and poverty levels are up.

But the mayor says Wilmington can be like "the phoenix rising from the ashes."