Bradshaw Eyes Team Approach for Brunswick County's Economic Future

Brunswick County's new economic developer has led both local and regional business recruitment programs, as well as industrial development efforts for a major railroad. Thus it's no surprise that Jim Bradshaw has a team-oriented vision for bringing new jobs and investment to Brunswick County. "Recruiting industries and encouraging economic growth here will have to be a team effort," says Bradshaw, who re-cently assumed the reigns of the Brunswick County Economic Development Commission upon the retirement of Steve Johnson, its previous director.

Mr. Bradshaw's 30-plus year career in economic development includes service as assistant director of economic development for the City of Chesapeake, Va., and executive director of the Franklin-Southampton Economic Development Commission. From 1998 through 2003, he was economic development director in Virginia for CSX Corporation. Most recently, Mr. Bradshaw was an economic development consultant for Franklin and Southampton counties in Virginia.

"This region is similar to the Hampton Roads area, only a slightly smaller scale," Mr. Bradshaw says. Under his leadership, Brunswick County's economic development program will pursue job growth opportunities through commercial development initiatives, shell building construction, support for existing industries and the creation of small-business incubators. Among the county's greatest business assets, he says: its livability. "I had heard good things about the quality of life here, but I didn't know it was this good," says Mr. Bradshaw.

Since arriving in Brunswick County last fall, Mr. Bradshaw has gotten to know several of his allies and partners inside and outside the county, including the staff at North Carolina's Southeast. "I've been pleasantly surprised by how aggressive our regional development group is," he says, "and I look forward to pursuing more opportunities with them."

 Jim Bradshaw holds a Bachelors degree in urban affairs and a Masters in urban and regional planning, both from Virginia Tech University. He has also pursued professional training at the University of Oklahoma's Economic Development Institute. He and his wife, Joan, have one daughter, Lauren, who is currently a student at the University of Virginia.