By William Holloman
Mount Olive Mayor Joe Scott has been installed as new chairman of the Wayne County Development Alliance.
Scott, a known advocate for bringing new industry and new jobs to Wayne County, is no stranger to the local economic development efforts. He had previously been a member of the area Committee of 100 back in the 1990’s.
Scott was installed as new chair at the Alliance meeting in mid-June.
He was instrumental in bringing Carolina Agri-Systems, Inc. to Wayne County. Scott was general operations manager of the firm before his retirement. His background has long been in agriculture, particularly in the grain, pork, and poultry industries.
Installed as vice chairman of the Alliance was David Perry, owner of Goldsboro Builder’s Supply.
Mayor Scott told the Tribune he feels he has a strong board to work with, one that is “diverse in the knowledge of Wayne County and its industries.”
He said the first order of business is to hire a new economic development director. The position to be filled is a replacement for former EDA President Crystal Gettys, who resigned several months ago.
“We want to continue in bringing jobs to Wayne County, and at the same time look after the industries we have,” Scott said.
Forty candidates have filed for the vacant seat, and the field has been narrowed down to eight, Scott told the Tribune. He said he expects to name a new EDA President “sometime soon.”
Scott is the second person from Mount Olive to serve as chairman of the economic development alliance in recent years. The last chairman was the late George Kornegay, another major player in the county’s economic development efforts.
“Wayne County is poised to become a major player in Eastern North Carolina, in aerospace and agriculture,” said the new chairman.
He said the groundwork has already been done with the industries already here. “With their support we can continue to grow and bring other businesses and jobs here,” said Scott.
The WCDA was formed in 2006 with Goldsboro and Mount Olive’s committees of 100 coming together and building an alliance to work toward building industry in the county, Scott said. He also added that the county at that time “came in as a partner, making the organization one of the elite in the state.” Scott told the Tribune that with the combination of both public and private funds it makes Wayne County more aggressive in recruiting industry.