Maps recently released by the Troup County Geographic Information Services (GIS) from new commuting data shows about twice as many people commute to work in Troup County than residents commute to work in other counties.
GIS officials said 9,976 people commute from 55 counties into Troup County to work, while 5,549 leave the county to work in 44 other counties. There are 21,879 people who stay in Troup to work.
Information shows Troup County business and industry draws labor heavily from Chambers County, Ala., as well as Coweta and Meriwether counties. Workers also come from Muscogee, Harris, Heard, and Lee and Randolph, Ala., counties.
“Great interstate access plays a vital role in both access to labor for Troup County business and industry, but also access to jobs for Troup County citizens,” said Scott Turk, who oversees GIS. “Troup County residents travel heavily to Columbus, Coweta County and Chambers County, Alabama, for work. The vast majority of Troup Countians work here in the county, though.
“The strength of in-bound commuters from surrounding counties demonstrates the effectiveness of local economic development efforts and the strength of the LaGrange micropolitan economy.”
Troup County still had an unemployment rate of 9.6 percent through the end of December 2012, about 3,318 out of work at the time, Turk said.
Given the number of inbound commuters, “clearly Troup County is generating jobs,” said Troup County Commission Chairman Ricky Wolfe. “We need to continue to work toward matching citizens with available jobs and working to train our existing and future workforce for employment in local jobs.”
Troup County Center for Strategic Planning, which Wolfe serves on, is spearheading an effort to develop a plan for a career academy. The academy is envisioned to help train and guide Troup’s future workforce for the local economy, Wolfe said.
“This is the most proven way to bring down unemployment with a great side benefit of bringing up graduation rates in the long term,” added Wolfe. “Along with training, recruiting employers whose workforce needs match the skills of the local workforce is a constant goal of local economic development professionals.”