Ashe County is looking for a new economic development director, according to Ashe County Manager Sam Yearick.
“I’m going to try my best to advertise this week,” Yearick said. “We have already put the word out, but it’ll formally be out there this week.”
The commissioners are looking for someone who is actively looking for companies to come into the county and help with jobs through networking, as well as promoting.
“I’m looking for a director, and what I would like to see is somebody who is connected in business,” Yearick said. “Rather than us just throwing out advertisements for people to come, we are actually knocking on doors.”
Beyond bringing jobs to the county, Yearick would also like to have a director who would promote hosting different events in the county.
“It’s not just industry related, I would like to see as many events as there can be in Ashe County, just two-day events,” Yearick said. “Something happening every weekend would be great.”
Yearick said the most important prerequisite for the job is finding somebody who genuinely wants to see Ashe County do better, as well as somebody who is well connected in business and is familiar with incentives.
“I’m not looking for us to get somebody who is just looking for a paycheck,” he said. “There are so many people around here who everyday try to make this a better place and bring jobs and that’s exactly what I’m looking for.
The position was previously filled by former Ashe County Manager Dr. Pat Mitchell. Since her resignation on Aug. 20, 2013, the position has been vacant.
Yearick said as of right now there are no plans to hire an assistant economic development director, who had a salary of approximately $40,000.
As far as filling the position, Yearick hopes the job can be filled in 60 to 90 days. The previous salary for the economic development director in Ashe County was $65,000 with a standard benefit package.
Yearick feels confident the county will find the right candidate for the position.
“Somebody will find us,” he said. “We will definitely find somebody, for sure.”
Wil Petty can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.