Cory Osborne, a graduate intern currently working with the county, hsa been named as the new assistant director of economic development, said Ashe County Manager Dr. Pat Mitchell.
“I’m excited to bring on a developer with his set of skills and his interest in small, rural communities. I look forward to working with him on a permanent basis and I sincerely believe he will serve Ashe County well,” said Mitchell.
Osborne was named to the position after Mitchell received 35 applications and conducted interviews with seven candidates, including two telephone interviews with out-of-state applicants, according to a press release from Mitchell.
Osborne will be a permanent part-time employee until he graduates from Appalachian State University in May. He will graduate with a concentration in economic development from the Master of Public Administration program offered by ASU.
In the release, Mitchell cites a number of qualities she was looking for in an economic developer, all of which are possessed by Osborne.
“I wanted someone interested in serving a rural community who had the passion and the skills to carry out that work. Cory has handled a number of projects for me, both economic development and management, and has performed in an exemplary manner,” said Mitchell.
She also said “he (Osborne) was raised in a small community in southwestern Virginia and has consistently demonstrated to me over the past several months his interest in living and working in Ashe County.”
Osborne said he feels comfortable in his new position because both his course work from ASU and his internship with the county have been focused on economic development.
“I interned here in August and I had a chance to see how the county worked and I really enjoyed it; the people I met were great,” said Osborne.
“I applied for this job because A: I like the people in this county, and B: economic development offers a unique opportunity to help the community, and I would like to do that here in Ashe,” said Osborne.
According to Mitchell, she will retain her role in working primarily with local industry, while Osborne will focus on small business development and entrepreneurship, including working with the agricultural sector of Ashe County’s economy.