Lighting Up the Hills: How Unicoi County is Investing in Technology for Growth

Until recently, embracing city life has been necessary to expand one’s career in technology-based industries. But now, more and more young professionals are interested in moving out of urban areas where small, crowded living conditions and astronomical cost of living are prevalent. Many millennials also have a deep interest in outdoor adventure and authentic experiences to help them unwind and cope with the modern work environment. These innovative professionals have now realized that working remotely is not only possible, but also practical given technological advances. At the same time, many employers are seeing the benefits of lowered overhead costs by having their workforce work remotely.

Unicoi County has invested heavily in providing the infrastructure for adventurers of any age, or career discipline, to find their place among the mountains and rivers of our area without having to sacrifice their professional ambition. For professionals with a spirit to wander, Unicoi County may be the perfect place for the next phase of your career!

World-Class Broadband

Erwin Utilities has made a tremendous investment to bring Erwin Fiber, a full fiber optic broadband service to the county. Currently, a vast majority of the county already has access to fiber broadband, and the local utilities have plans in place to ensure that areas not yet served will have access within the next two years (as of 2020). Having access to affordable Gigabit speeds is a major draw for those needing trustworthy connections to work remotely. What sets Unicoi County apart is that all the fiber broadband infrastructure is owned and managed locally by our own utilities. We are not beholden to large corporate organizations that may not have our local residents best interests in mind. This gives us the ability to grow and improve with the needs of our own businesses and residents, making us better and providing a great broadband service.  

Even professionals working in traditionally broadband-hungry fields like animation, graphic design, video production, medical, cyber security, software engineering, and other technology-based careers, will find the local broadband to be more than up to the challenge of keeping them productive and connected.  

Investing in Our Lifestyle

We know that a big reason behind people choosing to live in Unicoi County is the natural beauty and unspoiled open country of our mountain home. This year the city of Erwin made a major investment in converting all their street lights in the city to high-efficiency/low-impact dark sky lighting. These news lights are engineered to provide excellent illumination of the streets, sidewalks, and shops in the city without creating light pollution that pollutes our incredible starry nights. Now you can dine, shop, or just go for an evening stroll in downtown Erwin and look up and see all the majesty of the Milky Way and bright constellations framing our beloved Appalachian Mountains.

Easy-Going Adventure

So, why would an up-and-coming professional consider making Unicoi County their home (or the home to a newly launching technology company)? There are so many reasons. First, having great life experiences is all about location, and Unicoi County has a wealth of adventures and experiences awaiting anyone who loves natural beauty and healthy living. The area boasts hiking, biking, rafting, whitewater sports, camping, and lake sports, all within minutes in any direction. The outdoor experience is so rich here in Unicoi County, that we’ve actually gathered a list of some of our most amazing hikes  and information on the world-famous Nolichucky River. Once you take a look you’ll really start to appreciate just how unique our region is when it comes to providing a lifetime of outdoor adventures for any interests.  

Unicoi County is centrally located to provide access to any of the city amenities you might crave as well. Being just minutes away from Asheville, NC, Johnson City, TN, and Bristol, TN/VA, you have direct access to amazing arts, history, and touring opportunities that allow you to enjoy a slower lifestyle without giving up the desire for culture and convenience. Perhaps one of the best benefits of living in Unicoi County and having such easy access to these amenities is that you don’t have to pay the high cost-of-living to enjoy them!  

And then there’s the pace of life in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is truly nothing like waking up to fresh mountain air and an amazing view of the Appalachian Mountains in every direction. Unicoi County offers great southern hospitality and open countryside to help make it easy for anyone to find their place, and pace, in the community.  

Having a healthy work/life balance is so important in today’s incredibly fast-paced world. How much better would it be if you could finish work and be biking through the mountains within minutes of your home? Or drive into the city in the evening to enjoy local flavor, craft brews, and amazing music? Working in Unicoi County is like working where you love to vacation, except you never have to leave!

The region is continuing to provide new outdoor adventure experiences, and will be opening a state-of-the-art bicycle park very soon with perfectly groomed mountain biking trails, and paved trails to suit any riding style and skill level. We’ll be providing more information as the park completes and opens. This is just another way Unicoi County is investing in creating the very best living experience for their residents and business partners.

So, why not come and join a community that has their eye fixed on the future while appreciating the simple things in life as well? Unicoi County is sure to feel like home for anyone who works hard in their career, and wants to reap the rewards with rich life experiences and memories that never fade. If you value quality living without sacrificing career ambitions, Unicoi County may be the perfect place to make your dream come true. Come find your adventure!



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