UGA, hospitals, manufacturers are key players
The University of Georgia and its workforce of 9,800 is the major employer in Athens, and the city’s economy is also well represented in sectors such as health care, local government and manufacturing.
University of Georgia
Founded in 1785, the University of Georgia and its 35,000 students makes Athens a major college town and a major employer, with a workforce of 9,800. The university offers 140 degree programs in an array of disciplines, and UGA also has 13 well-staffed libraries spread across multiple campuses.
Athens Regional Health System
Serving a 17-county region is Athens Regional Health System, whose major facility is a 350-bed Athens Regional Hospital with more than 2,800 employees and 250 physicians. Services include advanced imaging, a nationally recognized cardiovascular program, minimally invasive surgeries, neonatal intensive care and an oncology department.
Clarke County School District
More than 2,800 administrators, teachers and staff members work for the Clarke County School District, which is led by a nine-member board of education. The public schools in the district include 15 pre-K sites, 14 elementary, four middle and three high schools, and several schools have advanced academic programs in place.
A local chicken processing plant owned and operated by Pilgrim’s Pride has more than 1,500 employees, and the company also manages feed mills, hatcheries and grow-out facilities to supply the Athens plant. Chicken and turkey products are sold to food service companies, frozen entree retailers, distributors and restaurants.
Athens-Clarke County Unified Government
There are 1,600 full-time positions under the umbrella of Athens-Clarke County Unified Government that serves residents. More than 40 departments, offices and courts are part of the local government system, with 35 percent of employees working in public works, and 35 percent working in public safety.
St. Mary’s Health Care System
A not-for-profit Catholic health care system is St. Mary’s Health Care System, which has 1,000 employees who oversee services such as cardiology, home health care, gastroenterology, orthopedics, stroke care, a wellness center, women’s health and wound healing. Also available to patients are health improvement services and community education seminars.
Manufacturing excavators and tractors is the mission of 900 employees in Athens who work for Caterpillar Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. The Athens facility is also involved with building giant earthmovers along with small-track bulldozers and mini hydraulic vehicles.
The construction of transformers, chillers and solar panels for heating and air conditioning units is what 480 employees accomplish at Power Partners, which distributes its products throughout North America, Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean and other markets. More than 8.5 million heating and cooling transformers have been produced over the years at the Power Partners Athens plant.