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Lewis County Welcomes New Economic Development Director

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Mike Herron officially started as the new director of the Lewis County Economic Development Authority Monday, but he's had to hit the ground running.

April 16 was the first full day on the job for Herron, and he's already preparing to keep up the growth that Lewis County has experienced thanks to the oil and gas boom in the state, and see what other opportunities exist in the county.

"We're going to take a look at what efforts have been made, what has been successful, where we have fallen short, and try to answer in our mind what are the real strengths and weaknesses of the county," Herron said.

Job one cropped up earlier this month with the potential loss of more than 180 jobs if the Weston iPacesetters facility closes. County officials have been trying to resolve the situation since then, and they said Herron has wasted no time in reaching out himself.

"The West Virginia State Development Office and the Governor's Office has been working diligently on the iPacesetters job retention, and Mr. Herron already within the first two hours of work has made contact with those folks," said Lewis County Administrator Cindy Whetsell.

While much of Herron's work is behind the scenes, helping to bring in businesses like those in the Jane Lew Industrial Park, the work he does can have an impact on every member of the Lewis County community.

"The more money generated in the community, it's sort of like the rising tide lifts all boats. Everyone benefits if there is a happy, healthy, prosperous workforce that lives in the county. And that's why it should be important for everyone," Herron said.

Herron also said he looks forward to meeting and working with existing businesses to help keep their jobs in Lewis County.