Andy Crosson couldn't even get an interview the first time he applied for a job at the CSRA Regional Development Center after graduating from college six years ago. Now the 31-year-old is running the place.
"I guess the second time was a charm," he said jokingly.
Mr. Crosson was hired in the fall to replace retiring executive director Tim Maund, leader of the 17-county regional planning organization since its inception 37 years ago.
Mr. Crosson, a Hephzibah High School graduate, had spent the past five years in Macon as the Middle Georgia Regional Development Center's director of public administration.
He said one of his major projects will be to help metro Augusta speed completion of two statewide highway initiatives, the Fall Line Freeway to Macon and the Savannah River Parkway to Savannah, which are 10 to 15 years from completion.
The absence of adequate north-south corridors and the low level of airline service at Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field are the region's biggest barriers to growth, he said.
"The transportation system in this region is not conducive to economic development," he said.
Regional development centers help cities and counties within their jurisdiction coordinate infrastructure projects and obtain state and federal funding.
While in Macon, Mr. Crosson helped develop a regional program in 1995 to obtain federal disaster-relief funding after tropical storm Alberto deluged the area. That program has been adopted as the national model for flood recovery by the federal Economic Development Administration.
Reach Damon Cline at (706) 823-3486.