McMinn County has a strong, diversified economy and residents of Athens are lucky to take advantage of it. Headquartered in Athens is United Grocery Outlet, which also has a distribution center located in the area. The county is home to many global companies including Mayfield Dairy Farms, Resolute Forest Products, Denso, and Waupaca, among others. Additionally, the state of Tennessee leads the nation in auto manufacturing and McMinn County plays a major role in the automotive industry by housing a number of automotive suppliers such as Heil Trailer, Denso, Waupaca, Creative Foam Corporation, and Maxwell Industries. Skilled and productive employees make up the workforce in McMinn County.
The award winning Athens City Schools district serves the educational needs of students where they attend six elementary schools (City Park, E.K. Baker, Rogers Creek, North City, Ingleside and West Side), Athens City Middle School, and McMinn County High School. Athens City Schools is a highly regarded district thanks to its comprehensive Pre-K program; high test scores; excellent art and athletic programs; diverse set of programs that cater to fit the learning needs of every student; and affordable tuition rates. McMinn County also has a host of private and parochial schools located throughout the county for those who prefer their children learn in a more faith-based setting.
Students that are ready to move forward with their higher learning endeavors have three colleges located in Athens to choose from: Tennessee Wesleyan University, Cleveland State Community College (satellite campus), and Tennessee College of Applied Technology of Athens. Students have many more options throughout the region with post-secondary two-year private colleges in the area including: Miller-Motte Technical College; Roane State Community College; Fountainhead College of Technology-Knoxville; Chattanooga State Community College; and Pellissippi State Community College.
For those who are ready to attend a four-year college or university, the University of Tennessee Knoxville and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga awaits them. Private post secondary four-year colleges in the region include: Bryan College; Maryville College; Tusculum College; Lincoln Memorial University; Southern Adventist University; Covenant College; Lee University; Hiwassee College; and Tennessee Temple University. Students are guaranteed to receive an excellent education and college experience no matter which institution of higher learning they choose to attend.
Parks and Recreation
Residents like to spend their time outdoors at Athens Regional Park and Athens I-75 Campground and Park. Other parks located throughout the community include Knox Park, Veterans Memorial Park, Cook Park, Ingleside Recreation Complex, Knight Park, Memorial Park, and Fisher Field. The community's Parks and Recreation department organizes several events throughout the year including Farmer's Markets, soap box derbies, Daddy Daughter Dances and Mother Son Dances. The department also organizes youth sports and adult sports leagues.
Athens is also a short drive from the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area of Tennessee which features attractions such as Dollywood, The Dixie Stampede, Titanic Museum, and much more. Pigeon Forge also features excellent shopping with Tanger Outlet Mall being a popular stop. The Great Smokey Mountains and Cades Cove are also a short drive from Athens. Most Athens residents frequently visit the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Cades Cove area and the Great Smokey Mountains.