Helena is a city spread in the Jefferson and Shelby Counties in the state of Alabama. Along with Alabaster and Pelham, it makes up what is called "North Shelby County". The city is noted for its low crime rate and suitability for bringing up children in a safe environment. The community was established in 1845 by the name of Cove, which was then changed to Hillsboro, and then eventually renamed Helena after the beloved of a railroad engineer Pete Boyle. It was then incorporated. The city had steel mills, a cotton gin, a grist mill, coal mines, and a rail yard, along with residences, stores, and hotels during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Now, it is essentially a suburb of Birmingham. It has a total area of 17.1 square miles. 0.04% of the area is water, mainly the Cahaba River and its tributary Buck Creek which run through the city. The area is mostly rolling hills, situated as it is at the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains.
Professional occupations, service, and manufacturing jobs are the economic mainstays here. Most of the workforce commute to the greater Birmingham area for the jobs. The local workforce is primarily for the services that are needed to support an expanding population. It does have an industrial park for companies. Local outfits include Vulcan Materials Company construction aggregate quarry and the Plantation Pipeline depot and tank farm.
Education is administered by the Shelby County School System. This currently comprises one elementary, one middle and one intermediate school. A high school is under construction. Cultural events include fairs and musical concerts. The city dwellers also have ready access to recreational options in the greater Birmingham area, including the Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham Museum of Art, McWane Center, and Vulcan statue and park.