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OregonCounty still looking for economic developer

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Staff Writer

OREGON COUNTY -- Last week the Oregon County Commission announced it would advertise again for the position of Oregon County Economic Developer. The position has remained vacant since Edd Hatten of Alton resigned to seek employment elsewhere.

Oregon County Presiding Commissioner Leo Warren said last fall the position was advertised and several applications were reviewed by the economic development board of directors. "We looked at five or six different applications and none of them met the requirements we as a board feel like need to be met," Warren said.

The Oregon County Economic Development Board consists of the three Oregon County Commissioners -- Warren, Buddy Wright, John Wrenfrow; two Alton members -- Richard Haigwood and Bill Young; and two Thayer members -- Allen Deckard and Steve Alford.

The position could be full-time or part-time. Warren said some of the job requirements include meeting with city and county leaders to assess economic development needs as well as making plans of retaining, expanding and attracting business and industry.

Warren said Oregon County and the cities of Alton and Thayer are the only county and cities he knew of in the surrounding area that support an economic developer.

"We have supported this position to help the cities in our county. It will be up to them to decide if they want to continue with this position," Warren said.

He said when the position was first created it was paid for by a grant the city of Thayer received from the Rural Economic Assistance Program in 1999. "In 2001 the position became a county job with the county, Thayer and Alton funding the position and all three reaping the benefits of the economic developer," Warren said

"Some of the qualifications a person will need to fill the position includes interaction with a lot of federal, state, county and city representatives. The person will need to be able to make quality presentations to citizens and elected officials. They must have strong writing and speaking skills. They also must be able to work one-on-one or as a team member," Warren said.

Anyone interested in the position can contact the commissioners office Mondays or Fridays at 417-778-7475.

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