A new staff member has been announced for the Surry County Economic Development Partnership (EDP), who will play a key role with that organization.
Andrew Wright is filling the position of vice president of existing industry services for the EDP, the county’s chief economic-development entity.
Wright has replaced LeeAnn Nixon, who resigned in April to take a similar position in Cabarrus County after nearly five years with the local organization.
While many observers tend to think of the Surry Economic Development Partnership as a group that seeks to bring new industry to the county, its functions also include working with businesses already here. A number of the economic-development projects, and job creations, in recent years have come from this sector.
In addition to working in that area, Wright is expected to aid local workforce-development efforts, helping to prepare employees for new manufacturing jobs or processes demanding various skills.
Wright is a Surry County native who graduated from Mount Airy High School and in 2003 received a degree in business and recreation management from East Carolina University.
Before joining the Surry Economic Development Partnership, Wright was employed by the N.C. Department of Commerce in a workforce-development capacity in Rockingham and Forsyth counties.
“We’re glad to bring him on board to try to help us with some of our workforce-development issues,” Surry EDP President Todd Tucker said Tuesday.
Tucker said Wright also will continue Nixon’s work in assisting local entities in a variety of ways.
He will be available to help small businesses and entrepreneurs get started, including guiding them through permitting and other process, as well as serving as a resource for existing companies “with any problem they have,” Tucker said.
Wright has been living in Winston-Salem, but is relocating to Surry County and recently began training to prepare him for the new position with the EDP.
“We’re just trying to bring him back up to speed” regarding knowledge of the economic climate in Mount Airy and Surry County, Tucker explained. He added that Wright will begin visiting local firms within about two weeks. “We’re happy to have him.”
Wright also is eager to help local economic-development efforts.
“I’m looking forward to relocating here,” he said Tuesday.
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.