WYTHEVILLE (WSLS 10) - The Virginia Economic Development Partnership has a new leader and he spent some of his first days on the job in Southwest Virginia.
Stephen Moret took over the state organization in January and said he wants to make rural Virginia a top priority for economic growth.
He spent two days touring Southwest Virginia to see firsthand what it has to offer.
He wants to bring the state back to number one in business climate rankings across the country, something it has not achieved since 2009.
Moret believes a major part of that is giving special effort and attention to this region, which has experienced more hardship.
"I will not view my tenure as a success as the CEO of VEDP, even if we're growing Virginia as a whole rapidly, but we have regions of Virginia that are shrinking at the same time," Moret said.
Leaders said marketing the area's assets and its workforce will be a priority moving forward.
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