Aurora — When city leaders set their sights on hiring Aurora’s first economic development director, city entrepreneur-in-residence Jack Burge became the leading candidate because of his business background, experience and leadership skills, according to former Mayor James Fisher.
“The long-term stability of the city will be reflected in our efforts to strengthen Aurora’s industrial, commercial and retail tax base,” Fisher said. “Our next step focused on the need for a dedicated person to lead the initiative. We all agreed Jack could handle the responsibilities.”
Burge’s hiring was approved Jan. 28 by City Council. He began his part-time position Feb. 4 and reports to the mayor.
Burge receives $30,000 a year for his economic development work. Finance Director Bob Paul said he earns $5,000 annually from the city for his entrepreneur-in-residence position. Both part-time jobs do not exceed 25 hours a week.
In his entrepreneurial position, which he has had for several years, Burge, an instructor at the Kent State University business school, works with students about starting and running their own businesses.
“We encourage students that there is a path for creating a business, being your own boss and hopefully staying in northeast Ohio,” Burge said. “My role [with the city] is to use my Kent State resources to bring businesses to Aurora. Some students do internships at local businesses.”