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Ironton might hire recruiter in October

Ironton could have its industrial recruiter by the end of October, if council members approve an ordinance outlining the position’s salary and funding means.

Tuesday, September 28, 1999

Ironton could have its industrial recruiter by the end of October, if council members approve an ordinance outlining the position’s salary and funding means.

Finance Committee members agreed Monday to support an ordinance giving the position an approximately $75,000 budget, which is to be divided between operating expenses, salary and benefits, said Mayor Bob Cleary.

"I’m really excited about the thoughts of having this position," Cleary said. "There have been many times when we have had people looking to locate in the Ironton area. I would start collecting that information and then pass it on to the appropriate people to follow up on. I took it as far as I could take it. But with this person here, we will have someone who can really try to push the city out ahead. It will be great to have a person like that working for the city."

If the proposed budget, which would be funded 50 percent through the city’s enterprise funds – water filtration plant, wastewater plant and sanitation – and 50 percent through the city’s general fund, is approved at the next council meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 14, advertising for the position would begin immediately, Cleary said.

"We would advertise for about two weeks," he said. "And we could have someone here as soon as the end of October. We would want to hire someone as quick as we can."

Council members began discussing the possibility of hiring an industrial recruiter for the area in May, shortly after the announcement that Cabletron would be closing its facilities and moving out of Ironton, Cleary said.

And the position is desperately needed by the city if Ironton is expected to grow economically in the future, council member Joe Black added.

"We can’t continue the way we are going," Black said. "Nothing’s going to change. We are at the point now where we know we have to make a decision – do we step out into some deep water without knowing if we can swim? Our tax base could shrivel further if we don’t do something to grow. While this is risky, it is inevitable. We have to do this. If we miss the opportunity now, we may not be in a position to do it later."

If hired, the person who is chosen to be the industrial recruiter would be responsible for working in conjunction with the Greater Lawrence County Area Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, Black said.

The position would initially be funded for one year, and would be evaluated as to its effectiveness before additional funding would be supplied, he added.

"The solution to all our problems would be money," Black said. "We can’t guarantee a position beyond one year, but my feeling is that we’ll never know if we can reap anything if we don’t plant an initial seed. We have to take charge of our own financial destiny."