Armstrong Steps Into Economic Development

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May 02, 2018
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY
By NOLAN STOUT
Daily News-Record   5/1/18
 
HARRISONBURG — Casey Armstrong, Rockingham County’s director of community development, will now oversee economic development.
 
Armstrong, 34, was appointed Monday as assistant county administrator, replacing George Anas, who resigned last month for a job in the private sector.
 
Anas, 53, whose last day was Friday, had a salary of $101,855. Armstrong’s salary will increase from $81,600 to $93,000.
 
Armstrong will essentially absorb Anas’ job. He will maintain his duties as director of community development, but also facilitate economic development.
 
County Administrator Stephen King said merging the positions should make the departments “work more efficiently together.” King said Armstrong was promoted from within, and the job wasn’t open to applicants.
 
Armstrong, a Gainesville native, graduated from Eastern Mennonite University in 2006 with a degree in environmental science. The former Royals fi rst baseman joined the county’s environmental department after graduating and rose through the ranks before taking over as director of community development in 2013.
 
Armstrong, who lives in McGaheysville with his wife, Keisha, and their 3-year-old daughter, Teagan, will oversee 22 people across the two departments.
 
He said “it’s a lot easier having everybody together,” and integrating knowledge of permits and planning and zoning can improve economic development efforts.
 
“That’s where the rubber meets the road for any project,” he said. “If you have those two departments closer to one another and economic development can understand the elements of the comprehensive planand of our building process and our permitting process, I think it makes the whole thing run a lot more smoothly.”
 
Armstrong will try to lure new investments to the county, but said he wants to make sure the local economy is conducive to growth at existing businesses, such as Merck & Co., Miller Coors and DanoneWave. “The most important thing for me is re-establishing and building relationships we have with existing businesses — business retention,” he said. “And trying to understand what they’re doing ... and trying to be able to forecast what they’re going to need in a year or 10 years and having economic development focused on building a workforce for those people.”
 
“The most important thing ... is re-establising and building relationships we have with existing businesses.”
— CASEY ARMSTRONG
ROCKINGHAM COUNTY COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT


Casey Armstrong, Rockingham County’s director of community development,
will now oversee economic development.