Rethink job recruitment

Published 12:46 pm Thursday, June 9, 2016

Prince Edward County is missing the mark with its plan to turn the county’s economic development job into a clerical post and to task the county administrator with recruiting industry.

County Administrator Wade Bartlett is a busy man. Overseeing day-to-day functions of a $52 million operation such as Prince Edward County government is all-consuming.

He simply won’t have enough hours in the day to beat the bushes for new jobs that are sorely needed to grow the community’s economy.

Prince Edward needs to put as much time and energy into the recruitment of a crackerjack economic developer as it did into the recent search for a new school superintendent. If we were rating the most important jobs in county government, school superintendent and economic developer would be 1-2 on the list.

Preparing young people for success in the workplace is the first responsibility of the county’s public schools.

It is then the community’s obligation to provide jobs that give young workers at least the option of living and working right here at home, instead of having to move away to have a gainful career.

Prince Edward County needs one person who wakes up every morning with responsibility for recruiting new industry and helping existing industry. Economic development can’t be an afterthought for the county’s CEO.

Supervisors need to rethink their plan and hire an topnotch economic developer to sell this community and its excellent quality of life to prospective employers.