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Osborne eyed for county's ED post

Originally published: Dec. 13, 2012
Last modified: Dec. 13, 2012

Jesse Campbell

What began as an internship for Cory Osborne has led to a fulltime position as assistant director of economic development for Ashe County. 

Osborne, who will graduate in May 2013 with concentration in economic development from the Master of Public Administration program from Appalachian State, is no stranger to a rural setting and is beginning to feel right at home. 

Originally from Abingdon, Va., Osborne came to the region after completing his undergraduate work.

“Growing up in southwest Virginia, it is a very rural area and Ashe County reminds me of that,” said Osborne. “I've always loved living in a rural area and I hope to always be able to. It is a beautiful county. Everyone I have met so far has been terrific. The county employees are top notch and everyone has been very welcoming.”

County Manager Pat Mitchell, who also serves as director of economic development along with other administrative duties, will retain her role in working primarily with local industry, said a press release.

She has served the county in that capacity since 2004. 

Osborne will in turn focus on small business development and entrepreneurship, including working with the agriculture sector of the local economy. 

Osborne will serve as a permanent part-time employee until his graduation in May when he will achieve full time status. 

“I've tailored my classes toward economic development and I actually had the opportunity to take a class with Dr. Mitchell last semester and I was lucky enough to get an internship in Ashe County for this semester,” said Osborne. 

A total of 35 applicants were received for the position, with seven of those advancing to the interview stage of the process to fill the position. 

Mitchell cites a number of qualities and reasons in naming Osborne assistant director. 

His love for small towns and the region played a major role in his hiring.


“I wanted someone interested in serving a rural community who had the passion and the skills to carry out that work,” said Mitchell. “He has handled a number of projects for me, both economic development and management, and has performed in an exemplary manner. He was raised in a small community in southwestern VA and has consistently demonstrated to me over the past several months his interest in living and working in Ashe County.”

Mitchell went on to say that she is, “excited to bring a developer with his set of skills and in small, rural communities.”

“I'm just looking forward to making a great impact on the county,” said Osborne. 

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.