Whenever I think of company towns, I think of the Jimmy Stewart classic "It's a Wonderful Life", of Bedford Falls and the evil Mr. Potter. That is the usual image - big bad company taking advantage of the little worker. And there were far too many instances where this actually occurred.
But I also think of a town like Moscow ID. The largest employer is the University of Idaho (with the quite excellent Gritman Medical Center and the local school district as the next largest). When the University facing cutbacks, the whole town is substantially impacted. In a diverse economy, a downturn in one or even several segments can be offset with activity in others. That is not the case currently in Moscow.
The city has recognized this and is focusing on the necessity of widening the employment base. They have recently announced the hiring of Travis Cary as its new economic development specialist. He'll also be working with affordable housing issues and regional planning.
Best of luck to Mr. Cary and to Moscow.