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Top Employers in Oak Ridge, TN

Leading companies include Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory

By Kevin Litwin on July 4, 2016

Tennessee Manufacturing
Tennessee / Brian McCord

Atomic City and Secret City. Those are two nicknames for Oak Ridge, a city in the eastern part of Tennessee just west of Knoxville. Oak Ridge was established in 1942 as a production site for the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb for World War II, and federal government projects still contribute largely to the local economy. Here are seven large employers:

Y-12 National Security Complex

Dedicated to making the United States and the world a safer place is the Y-12 National Security Complex, owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. More than 7,000 employees oversee the nation’s storage of nuclear materials, the fueling of America’s naval reactors, and developing innovative technologies and safeguards to help reduce the global threat from weapons of mass destruction.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

The largest science laboratory in the U.S. Department of Energy system is the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, whose 4,400 employees focus on research and programs related to neutron science, high-performance computing and national security. ORNL houses many of the world’s top supercomputers, including Titan, the second most powerful supercomputer in the entire world.


More than 1,400 employees work for UCOR, the cleanup contractor for the former Oak Ridge production site that was used to develop the atomic bomb. The site today is called East Tennessee Technology Park, and UCOR workers undertake waste management cleanup and disposal efforts in a safe and efficient manner.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities

A number of academic institutions make up the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, a group of University of Tennessee faculty members and leading students who collaborate on scientific projects to help mankind. Much of the work at ORAU is focused on enhancing America’s readiness to respond to emergencies like natural disasters, health threats and terrorist incidents.


Managing the business and growth strategies of clients is the mission at Sitel, which provides advice to companies on how to improve their internal operations and capitalize on the latest technologies. Sitel’s cloud services include providing desktop applications, automation solutions and social media initiatives to help companies grow in a global economy.

Oak Ridge Schools

Since 1943, Oak Ridge Schools has provided a quality education to the community, and today there are more than 4,600 students and 725 employees in the district. Nearly 80 percent of the teachers hold a master’s degree or better, and there are eight schools within the system.

Energy Solutions

The employees at Energy Solutions are involved with the recycling, processing and disposal of nuclear material, and the company provides its services to various medical and research facilities throughout the United States. Workers also manage spent nuclear fuel and transport material to safe and secure sites.

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