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Oak Ridge, TN Business Overview

Six large companies head the list of major employers.

By Kevin Litwin on September 30, 2015

Y-12 National Security worker repairs a piece of equipment
Oak Ridge / Courtesy of Y-12 National Security

Several top companies lead the way in helping Oak Ridge’s economy stay as strong as it is today. Here is some background on six major employers:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Specializing in science and technological advancements, Oak Ridge National Laboratory opened in 1943 as part of the Manhattan Project and is now managed by UT-Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy. Scientific programs at ORNL focus on energy, high-performance computing, national security, neutron science and systems biology. A staff of 4,500 includes engineers and science experts in more than 100 disciplines. ORNL also houses the third-most-powerful supercomputer in the world – Titan.

Y-12 National Security Complex

Located near the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the Y-12 National Security Complex, built during World War II as part of the Manhattan Project to enrich uranium for the first atomic bombs. Today, Y-12 is a manufacturing facility that builds and maintains parts for every nuclear weapon in the U.S. military arsenal. There are 4,700 employees at Y-12 and about 1,500 contract workers.

Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge

Ranked among the Top 100 Hospitals in America is Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge, whose Joint Replacement Center and Oak Ridge Breast Center have both won numerous awards. The hospital has highly regarded programs in bariatrics, cardiology, cancer care, robotically assisted surgery and wound treatment. Methodist Medical offers a highly successful eight-visit smoking cessation class.


Cleaning up and managing the radioactive waste at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation is the specialty of URS | CH2M Oak Ridge LLC, or UCOR. This woman-owned company primarily concentrates on the cleanup of East Tennessee Technology Park, which is a former Oak Ridge K-25 Site utilized to develop atomic bombs for World War II. UCOR is the prime contractor for Oak Ridge’s overall EM (Environmental Management) program.


Science Applications International Corp., or SAIC, is a company that provides a variety of high-tech services to several government agencies, including big data, the cloud, IT management, network creation and software development.  SAIC secured $2.5 billion in prime government contracts in 2016. Officials say that SAIC today is putting an increased focus on cyber security services.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities

With an office in Washington, D.C. and staff members across the country, Oak Ridge Associated Universities is a collection of American university think-tankers who work to advance scientific research and education. Under the ORAU umbrella is the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, which contracts with the Department of Energy to conduct research and training in areas such as national security, environmental safety, health physics, epidemiology and radiation exposure treatment.

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