University Park spurs economic growth in Troy

Posted: Friday, 11 February 2011

TROY—Gov. Robert Bentley and officials from Troy University, the City of Troy and CGI today formally dedicated University Park, an expansion project and catalyst for growth in the city.

Located between South Brundidge Street and Park Street near downtown Troy, the facility houses the University’s Information Technology Department and much of the technology infrastructure that drives the University’s international and domestic operations. The project allowed the University to relocate its eCampus headquarters. Also resident in University Park is CGI, a global information technology and business processes company that currently employs 140 in Troy and 31,000 worldwide.

“This is a high-tech center that will put at least 600 jobs into play within walking distance of downtown Troy,” said Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., Chancellor of Troy University. “We have focused on being a ‘high-tech, but high-touch’ university, and University Park affords the added dimension of drawing both high-quality employers and employees to our area.”

Dr. Hawkins said the University Park project was the result of a shared vision by the University, the City of Troy and CGI

“We are delighted by the opportunities before us, and it will go way beyond the brick and mortar you see here today,” Dr. Hawkins said. “Our shared vision has been realized and I really believe that the best for this state and this University is yet to come.”

The 15-month project, begun in 2009, created 95,000 square feet of professional space. CGI leases 50,000 square feet from the Troy University Foundation, which owns the property.

Gov. Bentley said the University Park project fits in with his primary goal for the state, the creation of new jobs.

“Creating jobs is my number one goal,” Bentley said. “Until we put people back to work, government is not going to work very well. Our education budgets are built almost exclusively on growth taxes, and that depends on people working … and as I see things like this, CGI putting people to work here, the jobs you’re creating here, through this University, it makes me proud to be your governor.”

CGI expects to expand to more than 300 employees when fully staffed, and the development relocates a number of existing University jobs nearer campus and the downtown business district.

“We at CGI do believe that businesses have a responsibly to give back to America,” said Nazzic Turner, CGI Senior Vice President and General Manager. “Since 2007, CGI has created hundreds of well-paying, high-quality technology jobs in rural America, fueling economic development in communities. In partnership with the great state of Alabama, the City of Troy and Troy University, we’ve turned this commitment into a reality.”

Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said the partnership with TROY and CGI fills a void in the community through the creation of high-tech jobs.

“We’ve got things going for us in Troy, Alabama, but we didn’t have those IT-type jobs that could keep our brightest at home, and not only that, but bring some of our brightest back to Troy,” Lunsford said.

Seth Hammett, director of the Alabama Development Office, said CGI was the first company to take advantage of expanded state incentives designed to attract data processing centers, software firms and other high-tech employers.

“We were hopeful when that bill passed in 2009 that these types of things would occur,” Hammett said. “This is a great partnership … when you have a great university, a great city and a great company you have a good thing going.”

About Troy University
Troy University, a comprehensive, an international university operating four Alabama campuses, and sites in 16 other U.S. states and 10 international locations, offers both traditional college experiences and higher education alternatives for adults. Through its distance learning division, called eCampus, the University offers fully accredited degrees online, including the Doctor of Nursing Practice. Founded in 1887, Troy University enrolls nearly 30,000 students worldwide. More than 70 degree programs are offered through five academic colleges: arts and sciences, business, communications and fine arts, education and health and human services. Forbes Magazine ranks TROY 16th in the nation as a “best buy” and the top-ranked university in the state of Alabama. Both the Princeton Review and U.S. News and World Report rank the University among the best in the southeastern United States.

About the CGI
Founded in 1976, CGI Group Inc. is one of the largest independent information technology and business process services firms in the world. CGI and its affiliated companies employ approximately 31,000 professionals. CGI provides end-to-end IT and business process services to clients worldwide from offices and centers of excellence in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia Pacific. As at December 31, CGI's annualized revenue was approximately C$4.5 billion and its order backlog was approximately C$13.1 billion. CGI shares are listed on the TSX (GIB.A) and the NYSE (GIB) and are included in both the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the FTSE4Good Index. Website: www.cgi.com cgi.com.

About the City of Troy
Founded in 1843, Troy, Alabama is one of the most charming cities in the south. With its tree lined streets, historic homes and churches, and newly renovated town square, residents and visitors alike are always greeted with a cheerful smile. With a population of over 14,000, Troy is home to many large corporations including Lockheed-Martin, Sikorsky Support Services, the Sanders Companies and CGI. Troy is also home to Troy University, the second largest university in the state of Alabama. Troy University's beautiful campus has undergone extensive renovations that have added to the beauty of the city. The city of Troy is world renown, mainly because of the international status of Troy University; however, it is noted throughout the South for having wonderful people and a great quality of life—clean, fresh air, sparkling ponds, and lakes for fishing and swimming. Troy is centrally located off U.S. Hwy. 231 between North Alabama and the Gulf Coast beaches, making it a great stopping point for travelers coming or going in either direction. Whether one is here for business or pleasure, they are always invited to explore all Troy, Alabama has to offer.

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Troy University, state, local and CGI officials dedicated University Park, a 95,000-square foot development project located near downtown Troy. Located in the facility is CGI, a global information technology and business processes company that leases 50,000 square feet, TROY’s Information Technology Department and the worldwide headquarters of the University’s eCampus. Dedicating the facility is, left to right, Seth Hammett, Alabama Development Officer; Nassic Turner, CGI Senior Vice President and General Manager; Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., TROY Chancellor; Gov. Robert Bentley; and Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)