08/05/04 — Economic Development Commission gets vice president

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Economic Development Commission gets vice president

By Sam Atkins
Published in News on August 5, 2004 1:58 PM

The Wayne County Economic Development Commission has developed a new position and new salary ranges for its employees. The plan goes to the county commissioners for approval.

It promotes Michelle Blackwell, the marketing coordinator, to vice president. This is a new position, but will have similar duties. Her salary will increase 12 percent, from $33,600 to $37,632, pending approval from the commissioners.

Ms. Blackwell has been with the EDC for two years. She will serve as an assistant to Joanna Thompson, the president, and will also serve as the coordinator of all information and technology issues and will be the principal generator of marketing and promotional materials.

"Michelle has been an integral part of the EDC team and has proven to be an extremely valuable asset," said Ms. Thompson.

"She has grown tremendously in her capacity and knowledge of economic development issues. She has gained the respect and trust of officials with the North Carolina Department of Commerce, clients, consultants and other economic development professionals. Her marketing and information and technology expertise are critical to the overall success of the EDC mission."

The EDC board also approved Carla Tino's salary at $25,337, which is up 8 percent from $23,460. She is the administrative assistant and serves as office secretary, receptionist and manager.

The board also approved the salary range for a new position, Existing Business and Industry Coordinator. Although the board is waiting for someone to fill the position before it approves a specific salary, it approved a salary range of $33,000 to $52,000.

This person would work exclusively with local companies to help them expand and hire new employees, visit the county's major manufacturers on a regular basis, talk with plant managers and other officials, and assist them with any issues that might prevent expansion or cause layoffs. The commission has wanted to hire a business coordinator for several years, but has not asked the last two years because of the budget crunch.

Ms. Thompson said the commission has researched the salaries and job descriptions of other economic development offices in counties of similar sizes and budgets. This research was conducted to make sure their salaries are competitive with other economic development offices so they can maintain high-quality employees, she said. Each position now has more description of the experience, training and skills required along with the physical requirements and supervision.

All of these salaries above are contingent upon approval from the Wayne County Commissioners. The EDC plans to present them to the commissioners Aug. 17. The next step will be to search for a candidate to fill the Existing Business and Industry Coordinator position.

On Tuesday, the commissioners reappointed EDC members Jimmie Ford, Jimmie Edmundson, George Kornegay and Dean Gurley. Tim Price was appointed as a new board member to fill a vacancy for a one-year term.