Athens County, Ohio Economic Development Resource Center

All the facts and figures you need when considering a business relocation or expansion in Athens County.

Athens County is rich with opportunity for business owners and entrepreneurs. With our quickly developing industries like biosciences and technology, advanced energy, and digital media, now is an exciting time to put roots in this region. From the right funding sources and an available workforce to a highly accessible transportation system, Athens County is the leading choice for business development in the Southeast Ohio region.


Athens County Workforce: Ready, Willing and Able.

The Athens County vibe is cosmopolitan rural—a cultural mecca nestled in the Appalachian foothills. Our diverse workforce reflects that identity. Your business requires wide range of qualified professionals, and we have the resources to help you find them.

athens ohio
 Neil Lane
"Athens County is perfect.
It’s exactly what we need as a manufacturing company.”

- Neil Lane - Global Cooling and Stirling Ultracold CEO

total labor force

Labor Force

Athens County is part of a larger regional workshed.

total labor force


Our highly employable workforce includes graduates of Ohio University and Hocking College.

total labor force


A higher rural unemployment rate means a readily available workforce.

Want more Facts?

Review the Athens County census report. Click here >

Finding and training your workforce

Workforce training is a big investment, one that benefits the entire community. That’s why Athens County has found ways to share in your commitment to a highly trained, specialized employee base.


Planes, trains, and automobiles: Transportation
in Athens

  • Ohio University has 5,600 feet of runway, Wood County Commerical Airport has two runways of 6,780 feet, and Port Columbus International has three runways of 10,250 feet.
  • Trains: A Norfolk Southern rail line travels through Athens.
  • Highways: Shippers can access 60 percent of the US and Canadian populations, 62 percent of the nation’s manufacturing operations and retail stores within 600 miles. Athens is conveniently located around Interstates I71, I70 and I77. Major county thoroughfares runningeast to west include U.S. 33, U.S. 50, SR 32 (also known as the Appalachian Highway), SR 56 and SR 550. State Routes 13, 144, 329, 681 and 691 run north and south.


Funding Sources in Athens County

There are a variety of funding options available to businesses in Athens. These resources have the ability to provide assistance to businesses in any lifecycle stage, from a start-up company to a well-established business needing funds to expand.

The City of Athens and Athens County Revolving Loan Funds each offer up to $500,000, the Buckeye Hills Revolving Loan Fund offers loans to businesses in conjunction with a bank, and TechGROWTH Ohio provides pre-seed investments, including “first-in” funding for technology startups. 

Other funding sources include:

  • ACEnet Ventures
  • East Central Ohio Tech Angel Fund
  • The Finance Fund
  • Athens County Port Authority
  • Athens Community Improvement Corporation
  • Adena Ventures

Learn more about Athens County’s economic assistance for new and expanding businesses. Click here >


Funding from the CIC

The Athens Community Improvement Corporation is an organization committed to promoting and fostering economic development in Athens County. The CIC is interested in providing gap financing assistance to projects that have public value, such as significant job creation.

The Athens County Port Authority

The sole mission of the Athens County Port Authority is to encourage economic development projects in the county. They do this by developing commercial facilities and properties with the specific intent to lease them to new or expanding businesses. If you are looking for an Athens County location, custom to your business needs, start with the Port Authority. Read more about the Port Authority >