Best Cities to Work - Albany, Georgia
Business Center of the South
The City of Albany is the County Seat of Dougherty County, Georgia with approximately 96,000 residents. Located on the Flint River, it has been a region of rich soil and successful agriculture in the past, particularly cotton.
The Flint River has also made Albany a commercial and transportation hub since its founding in 1836. This business economy was based in the trade surrounding cotton and the slaves that picked it until after the Civil War. Other industries grew and the 1960s saw the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, particularly in Albany. Today, Albany is a thriving revitalized urban center with an exhibit of African art at the Albany Museum of Art that is the largest in the Southeastern United States. Albany also offers her native son, Ray Charles, for his musical career with a large memorial sculpture in the center of Downtown Albany on the Flint River Walk.
The Creek Nation had lived in Southwestern Georgia from 8,000 - 10,000 years previously, until 1836, when the state acquired their lands. Around this year, a land developer, Nelson Tift, founded Albany about the same time that a band of Quakers arrived on the site and settled on their own.
By 1860, based on the Cotton Industry, the population of Albany had grown by 500%. going on to continue shipping cotton down the Flint River to the Gulf of Mexico, then to the rest of the USA and Europe during the height of textile related industries.
Many African Americans remained in Albany after the Civil War and the production of pecans, peanuts, and livestock took over the economy for the most part until the 1900s. In the 20th century, Albany became a center for the Civil Rights Movement, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and other human rights organizations, which changed the culture and the economy of the area over the decades following.
The Albany Movement advanced in 1961 against a long fight against segregation. In 1998, The Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum opened in the Old Mount Zion Baptist Church building commemorate the movement's trials and successes.
Revitalization And New Growth
Revitalization to Historic Downtown Albany began in earnest from 1986 - 2006, seeing the construction of new County Offices and a large library as well as new businesses. The Marine Corps Logistics Base at Albany, on the eastern side, is of long standing since the early 1950s. Over 200 Native American artifacts have been found on the base, lending additional information to the history of the Creek Nation and the state of Georgia.
In addition, the world's largest maker of candy canes, Bob's Candies, has been an anchor business in Albany since World War II. Opened in 1918, it is a highly successful operation internationally.
Downtown Albany now features a large River Walk and business complex, the large Flint Riverquarium (a freshwater aquarium), several exhibits and installations that promote conservation and water resources, and other businesses that center on the Flint River downtown area. Another offering is the nearby complex known as the Parks at Chehaw, featuring a wild animal parks and campgrounds.
All of its features have led Money Magazine to recognize Albany as one of the Top 25 Best Small Cities for Jobs and Business in America in the late 2000s.
Bob's Candies - American Made
Bob's Candies, specializing in Candy Canes, distributed by The Old Time Candy Company in Lagrange in northern Ohio. was founded in 1918, made great peppermints and candy canes and was the first candy manufacturer to use cellophane wrap. Bob was then the first to use an automatic candy stick maker, invented by his brother. Today, the company does from $25-$50 Million of business per year. Bob's Candies
The Top 10 Largest Employers
The Largest Employers in Albany and Dougherty County are involved in Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Retail Sales. These employers include:
- Albany State University
- Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital
- Cooper Tire & Rubber Company: Careers, Internships, and Co-ops for students are listed at the link.
- Proctor and Gamble Paper Products
- Miller Breweries
- Grey Publishing
- Teleperformance is part of the largest global entity in the call center industry: 281 contact centers, 45 countries, 75 markets and 15 NearShore/OffShore sites.
- Palmyra Medical Center
- Walmart Associates Inc.
- Cagle Foods - Grocery.
Job search links for Albany, Georgia employment opportunities:
- Nursing Jobs in and around Albany - Contact the Georgia Board of Nursing at 237 Coleseum Drive in Macon GA 31217-3858 or phone (478) 207-1640.
- Miller Brewing Company offers careers and internships at MILLERCOORS.
Education and Training
- Albany State University - ASU Golden rams sports programs include football and men's and women's basketball; a total of 12 spots.
- Albany Technical College
- Darton College - Home of Darton Cavaliers sports teams.
- Troy University
- LaGrange College at Albany
Top 10 High Growth Jobs To 2020
- Registered Nurses (RNs)
- Janitors & Cleaners
- Personal & Home Care Aides
- Child Care Workers
- Nursing Aides and Orderlies
- Customer Service Representatives
- Landscapers & Groundskeepers
- Classroom Teacher's Assistants
- Mainstream Elementary School Teachers
- Maids & Housekeepers
Additional high rate job growth is found in:
- Manufacturing Team Assemblers
- Medical Assistants
- Supplies and Logistics jobs
- Food & Beverage Prep & Service Fast Food
- General & Operations Managers - all fields.
- Network Systems & Data Communications Analysts
Ray Charles Plaza
The Ray Charles Plaza Memorial at River Front Park in Downtown Albany is located across from a Hilton Hotel with a large sculpture of the artist at his piano and a smaller statue furnished for the blind to enjoy with braille. The plaza contained benches, Ray Charles music playing, a fountain, piano keyboard sidewalks, and the rotating sculpture. After dusk, green spotlights shine on the artist and his piano captured in bronze.
Albany State University - ASU
Founded in 1903 as the Albany Bible and Manual Training Institution, this school was originally set up in order to train African Americans in the Bible and and agricultural, education, and industrial careers in the 20th century. In the 2000s, the university is multicultural and offers four colleges: Business, Education, Sciences and Health Professions, and Arts & Humanities.
ASU's Nursing School is recognized for excellence in training professionals to fill the high demand for nurses in Southwestern Georgia. Students can earn the Bachelors of Nursing and the Masters of Science of Nursing in the School fo Sciences and Health Professions.
ASU builds the local economy by offering a Center for Entrepreneurship that partners with community based businesses to facilitate the growth and strength of Entrepreneurship, Business Development, Workforce Development. and Non-Profit Development in Albany and Dougherty County as well as in the State of Georgia. The university also provides a Department of Continuing Education for adult learners.
Summer programs for youth and a Kiddie College are also a big part of university offerings annually. In addition, special community outreach courses teach Financial Literacy via Money Smart and MIAMI Advise (Money Is A Major Issue). Life skills for good decision making are further developed through WAIT - Why Am I Tempted, which targets all the major issues affecting teens and college students today.
Visit the university web site at Albany State Unversity.
Living for the City - Ray Charles Tribute with Stevie Wonder
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2008 Patty Inglish MS