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Targeted Industries

Advanced Manufacturing
As a Carnegie R1 Classified Research Institution, Ohio University is able to attract funding that supports advanced manufacturing  research and other fields of research and innovation that support this growing industry sector. Given the pool of talent that graduates from the Russ College of Engineering and applied research programs such as the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment (ISEE), Athens County is well positioned to house suppliers of large Ohio companies such as Intel and Honda.


Athens County has many jobs tied to the biotech sector and its technology commercialization activity is mature. Technology-based Economic Development initiatives are attractive because they create high wage “multiplier” jobs with companies in the growth mode for the Information Age economy. The ACEDC intends to build on our already successful small business and biotechnology-based economic development programs by developing small businesses and attracting technology jobs with the support of the Ohio University Innovation Center, local angel investors such as the Athens Ohio Investor Alliance, and state programs such as the JobsOhio Growth Capital Fund.  Some of Athens' biotechnology companies include QuidelOrtho, Stirling Ultracold, and InfinixBio.

Athens County's industry sector with the largest job growth continues to be Healthcare. OhioHealth O'Bleness is one of Athens' largest employers and this industry is well supported by Ohio University's School of Nursing and Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. The healthcare industry offers higher-wage occupations although wages in Athens in this sector are below the national average. This puts Athens at a competitive advantage for the recruitment of these jobs.  Additionally it supports the growing remote workforce in the area of telemedicine and telehealth. 

The ACEDC's 2020 Strategic Plan identified indoor agriculture and agrotechnology as growing industrial sectors to support and attract. Athens County has a long-standing agricultural roots and the ACEDC is committed to continuing to support the sector as it evolves and adopts more sustainable technologies.

Food & Beverage Manufacturing
Athens has a very strong food and beverage sector that contributes greatly to the local and state economies. Additionally, these businesses are well-supported through a comprehensive network of partners, including the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, which offers incubation spaces and technical assistance for entrepreneurs in these sectors. Examples of successful food and beverage companies in Athens County include Jackie O's Brewery, Milo's Whole World Gourmet, and Shagbark Seed & Mill.