Heritage First Bank President Ryan Earnest was tapped to chair the Development Authority of Floyd County on Wednesday.

Clint Wilder was selected to serve as vice chairman and new member Corey L. Townsend agreed to serve as secretary treasurer.

The authority also welcomed Ryan Leonard as a second new member during the Wednesday morning meeting. Townsend and Leonard replace Jeff Kehl and Charles Stevens. Kehl is in the process of moving to Virginia while Stevens’ term had expired.

Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Heather Seckman told the authority she would become an employee of the new office of economic development, working under new director Missy Kendrick as of Aug. 1.

The Development Authority of Floyd County controls the Floyd County Industrial Park off U.S. 27 south adjacent to Georgia Highlands College.

The development authority has a 25-acre tract available, but Seckman said Southeastern Mills has the first right of refusal for that site — which is next to where the company is building a new warehouse and distribution center.

Another 14-acre site next to the Pirelli U.S. headquarters plant is also available for prospects.

“We have a gentleman’s agreement with Pirelli that will make sure that it has compatible usage,” Seckman said.

Rome Floyd Chamber Director of Business and Industry Services Ken Wright said he is still working with the Greater Rome Existing Industries Association to promote growth and expansion.

“The business climate and economy has been great for our companies and a lot are continuing to grow and looking to add jobs and invest more capital in our community,” Wright said.

One of the biggest challenges her office faces is workforce development, Seckman said.

“Everybody is looking to hire and try to find people who are qualified,” Seckman said, but she added the board of directors of the Floyd County College and Career Academy has done “a phenomenal job at getting our young kids ready for the workforce.”

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