Barker was hired for the position on Nov. 18 after working for the town over the previous summer part-time as accounting technician.
A native of the Warrensville community, Barker is a 2005 graduate of Ashe County High School. He went to Wilkes Community College with the goal of studying horticulture and landscaping, and then education, earning an Associates degree, but a geography class changed his course of career when he transferred to Appalachian State University.
“I signed up for geography when I transferred to App, and the teacher asked if anyone was interested in a career in that to check it out, so I did and I liked it,” he said. He secured an internship with the Town of West Jefferson through his class in planning, and graduated from ASU in December 2009 with a degree in geography and community and regional planning.
“I like to interact with people and help solve problems,” Barker said. “The internship helped me get a feel for town government and the inner workings of small town government.” He especially likes the area of economic development.
In working for the town, Barker is following in the footsteps of his uncle. Greg Taylor, former town manager in West Jefferson. “I enjoy working here. And I look forward to working with everyone,” Barker said. “It’s nice to be able to work in your home town.”