Athens is ranked among the best college towns in which to start a career.
The list, compiled by Grand Canyon University, was compiled using data from the U.S. Census, Yelp, Indeed, and U.S. climate data. Athens finished tied for 15th in the nation and second in Ohio. More than 430 cities from across the country were reviewed
“Ohio University prepares its graduates to excel in their careers once they complete their education, and we are so fortunate to be located in Athens, where there is ample opportunity to put those skills to use,” Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis said. “Whether it’s in this region or beyond, our students gain the knowledge, critical thinking ability and leadership skills needed to succeed and thrive today and in the future.”
Ohio University is Athens’ largest employer and creates a significant positive impact on the economy in Athens and across the state. It also impacts the community through the Innovation Center, which supported 297 jobs that generated an estimated $12.9 million in employee compensation in Athens County in 2018.
The Innovation Center also founded the LIGHTS Regional Innovation Network to assist the creation of high-wage jobs and attract greater private investment in coal-impacted regions of Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.
OHIO also works to promote economic growth in Athens and southeast Ohio through a variety of initiatives, including the Social Entrepreneurship Ecosystem (SEE) Appalachia. Launched in 2017, SEE has assisted more than 90 startups and small enterprises that address social challenges facing Appalachia. OHIO also sponsors TechGROWTH Ohio, which assists start-up companies with sources of capital and a variety of business services.
No-cost technical assistance is also available to small business through the Ohio University Small Business Development Center in the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. The Center for Entrepreneurship enhances entrepreneurial education, University-based entrepreneurial activity and regionally-focused venture development, and connects prospective entrepreneurs with a variety of assistance options. And students have a made-to-order innovation space available through CoLab, a central hub that unites students from all backgrounds in a cross-disciplinary space to help students bring their aspirations to life.
OHIO and its research, clinical, construction and entrepreneurial activities, along with its students and visitors, added $2.9 billion to the Ohio economy in Fiscal Year 2016-17.