Biomedical plant could produce thousands of jobs

Catherine Wall, Staff Writer

The Meissner Corporation recently announced that they would be building a new site in order to produce filters and conduct research in the city of Athens, Georgia. 

The Meissner Corporation specializes in the biomedical field by producing and manufacturing products that help with ailments like cancer, heart disease and immune diseases. The company  even helped by producing much-needed COVID-19 vaccines. 

The corporation is investing more than $243 million dollars in this new plant. There is much controversy over how beneficial this will be for Georgia — or if it even will be at all.

AP News reported that the Athens-Clarke County Commission announced that the company would be able to offer a salary of $65,000 to its future workers. The commission said the company’s new site is needed in Athens, where poverty and a low-wage economy run rampant. 

“The University of Georgia is a big economic driver,” said Mike Hamby, a commissioner in Athens-Clarke County. “What we need is other economic drivers.” 

The new site will be able to offer more than 1800 jobs by 2031. 

Some argue that bringing jobs of this magnitude could help solve the housing and wage inequality in Athens-Clarke County, which has struggled economically for several decades. 

Furthermore, some point out that having this company in Georgia will help boost the state’s profile in the biosciences, especially with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention already existing in Atlanta. Georgia is already one of the nation’s leading bioscience states, and a new site for Meissner Corporation will only add to Georgia’s prestige in the field. 

The company added that, while building its site in Athens, it will work on forming partnerships with the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Georgia and Athens Technical College, with potential internships and other opportunities for students at the new facility.

GC students have differing opinions on Meissner Corporation’s new biomedical facility and the potential collaborations between the corporation and local universities.  

“I think that having local opportunities for college students, such as the ones that could be offered through this facility, will encourage students to apply their studies in internships and future jobs with the company,” said Emma Laprade, a freshman nursing major.

“I support it because if it gives people jobs, I don’t really see a downside to it,” said Annabel Hirst, a freshman language major.

Other GC students feel differently. 

 “I believe that the increased availability of biomedical sources, such as The Meissner Corporation, is critical not only in the recovery of these widespread ailments, but they could possibly delve into preventative measures for these as well,” said Grace Cote, junior biology major.

Right now, America is experiencing a dire shortage of medical supplies and medicines. Just recently, there has been a massive shortage of amoxicillin, which is used to treat strep throat.. 

 “Also, Meissner Corporation helped to produce COVID-19 vaccines, and honestly, with new strands emerging, I think it’s good they’re building another site,” Cote said.

It will take time for residents to reach a verdict on the facility’s efficacy, as operations will begin in 2026 and are expected to reach the company’s goals by the early 2030s.