Minden Seeks Economic Development Director
MINDEN, LA (AP) — The "help wanted" sign is out in the city of Minden as officials there search for an economic development director.
The Times’ Vickie Welborn reports that advertisements for the position began running last week. Mayor Tommy Davis says notices have been placed in Minden area newspapers, as well as in Mississippi and Texas.
Minden City Council members voted last year to create the position and fund it in the budget adopted in October.
The move came after a yearlong assessment that was part of the "Louisiana Development Ready Communities" plan. That is a state-guided program to help local communities map out preparations for economic and residential development.
"We'd like to get some companies, industry to come in here and locate in Minden. Also, to work with existing businesses, too, because most of the jobs come from the businesses already here," Davis said.
The Minden-South Webster Chamber of Commerce was part of the Ready Communities process and supports the willingness of Minden's leaders to shoulder the financial responsibility.
Years ago, the chamber, city and South Webster Industrial District partnered to fund an economic development director's position. The arrangement wasn't as successful as officials hoped it would be, primarily because of difficulties in spreading responsibilities among three different entities.
Having Minden fill its own economic development director slot is welcomed, said chamber executive director Jerri De Pingre, since her work and that of the organization mostly centers on taking care of existing businesses.
"We've always worked very closely with the city and I don't expect that to change when a new person is in that position. We are very supportive. The chamber worked alongside Main Street on development of the Ready Cities project that got us to the point of the city budgeting and hiring someone. I'm anxious to see it get started," de Pingre said. "But that doesn't stop me from going out and talking to people and talking up Minden."
The city's director will work with the chamber, SWID, Webster Parish Police Jury, North Louisiana Economic Development Partnership and the Louisiana Economic Development Department, according to the job description.
The salary will be negotiable based on experience, Davis said.