Progress report

From the small businesses that we love to the expanding bioscience and advanced manufacturing sectors, we will continue to see strengthened high-wage employment opportunities in Athens.

Pandemic aid. Through the pandemic period, we have supported Athens’ businesses with over $2 million of loans and grants that have made the difference in staying open and continuing to thrive.

Helping businesses navigate requirements. To ensure long-range success, we have created a position in the Department of Economic Development focused on helping individuals navigate the requirements of starting or expanding a business. 

Disparity study. We have simultaneously undertaken a disparity study and hosted a number of contractor academies to ensure that we are offering the full range of underserved businesses in Athens a chance to be a full part of the local economy. 

Raising wages. As an employer, we have raised wages for hundreds of employees and set a wage floor at $15/hour.

Attracting employers and jobs. With a strong cluster of technology, bioscience and advanced manufacturing jobs already in Athens, we have worked with emerging and growing companies to attract high wage jobs to Athens. Startups like ByoPlanet and RWDC both use technology that was developed at University of Georgia laboratories, with both offering over 200 high wage jobs each in their first year of local operation. We have worked with Boehringer Ingleheim to grow their animal health operation by nearly 100 jobs over the past three years, and have worked with local healthcare providers to continue to grow that industry. 

Athens Community Corps. When the pandemic crashed opportunities for underemployed Athenians, we stepped up with creation of the Athens Community Corp to provide a bridge to employment to young locals, provide a pipeline to permanent employment at ACC, and simultaneously beautify many public spaces that had been overtaken by invasive species or had been left untended.

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