Enquirer Herald

York County to hire new business recruiter

York County Economic Development is looking for a new employee.

With a salary of $58,357, the new Project Manager will work closely with prospective and existing businesses to attract and retain them.

The York County Council approved the new position last month in its 2011-'12 budget, but county leaders have been planning to add it for a few years now, said Mark Farris, the county's economic development director.

A study of how York County's economic development program compared to peers in the state and region prompted the move, he said.

York County's economic development staff is smaller than other jurisdictions', the study showed. The department has four staff members: a director, an administrative assistant, an existing industry specialist and a marketing specialist.

"With the economy beginning to turn, our prospect activity has reached a point where (the new position) is justified," Farris said. "The sheer number of companies that we're seeing have picked up."

The project manager will primarily work with existing and potential businesses and help implement York County's economic development goals, the job description says.

Another task will be to help build a plan for encouraging business growth in areas with "special needs" - rural areas, or areas of higher unemployment anywhere in the county.

Initiatives could include providing small business assistance, site certification and product development, according to the job description.

Help for business development in western York County is something county leaders have been asking for, Farris said.

Developing the western part of the county while preserving its rural character should be a priority, said County Councilman Eric Winstead, who represents most of that part of the county.

Trying to find the right fit for businesses in western York County - where people tend to have strong opinions about what types of businesses they want and don't want nearby - can be tricky, he said.

Winstead hopes the new project manager can spend some time doing just that.

According to the job requirements posted on York County's website, the position requires a bachelor's degree in marketing, planning, economics, or a related field. The ideal candidate will have five years of related experience, will have graduated from the Economic Development Institute and will be a certified economic developer.

"We're looking for a candidate who can hit the ground running," Farris said.

The county will accept applications through July 22.