The City of Troy was recently ranked among the top 25 fastest growing cities in Alabama and, according to Mayor Jason Reeves, Troy University has had a great impact on that growth.
Reeves said the university helps the economy and the population of the city expand, which is a draw for people across a wide spectrum of demographics.
“The university has a tremendous part in the city’s growth,” Reeves said. “The quality of life of a college town brings, not only students, but also young professionals and retirees. The university is a cornerstone for growth.”
Reeves said the economic impact goes beyond businesses in Troy because each new student increases the number of utility customers for the city-owned utility company, whether through on or off-campus housing.
“We are excited about the university’s push to reach 10,000 students because that is more growth for the city,” Reeves said. “Another large part of our growth is retention of graduates who choose to stay here after they complete their schooling, along with people who come back to settle down here.”
According to Reeves, aside from the “force of dollars,” the university also contributes different human-interest attractions to the city, including theater, dance, art and athletics.
“We want people to come to Troy and make it home,” Reeves said.
The university is a selling point for businesses seeking to expand in the region as well, Reeves said.
“We would like Troy to become a shopping destination in the area,” he said. “We are working on growth downtown. The university assists in that—we are growing together.”
Gen. Walter Givhan, senior vice chancellor for advancement and economic development, said the ranking is also a benefit for the university. Givhan also serves on the Pike County Economic Development Corporation Board.
“I was delighted to read the news that Troy, the city of Troy, was in the top 25 fastest growing cities in Alabama but not surprised,” Givhan said. “This is a great community.
“It offers so much, and I am proud that Troy University is one of the great contributors to making this a great, prosperous place and a very desirable place to live and to work and to locate a business.”
According to Givhan, college towns are desirable locations for people and businesses.
“All of this comes together to make this a great community and a great partnership between the university and the community,” he said. “When I saw the news, I felt such pride because I feel that Troy University has played a big role in that, and we want to continue to play a big role in seeing this community grow as the university grows.”
The university has partnered with the city on many projects in the past and plans to continue to do so for future projects, according to Givhan.
“When the community is looking to attract particular businesses, we are involved in that,” Givhan said. “We work hand-in-hand with the city and the community to, not only attract new business, but also work with the established businesses to see how we can help them continue to grow.”
Givhan said partnerships with companies, such as KW Plastics, allows students and faculty to gain valuable experience in real-world situations. The university’s marketing department has also assisted the city in creating a video to highlight what Troy has to offer for new businesses.
“A group of us from the university and the city recently met downtown and talked about some of the things, whether its trails or road projects or other things, that we can do together,” Givhan said of grants that the city or university may seek to receive.