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Industry recruiting agency fills jobs retention post

The Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development has hired Marcus R. Abernethy as director of industry relations. Abernethy assumes the lead role in managing the Partnership's existing industry program, focused on retaining and growing quality jobs in Henderson County.

Originally from Lenoir, Abernethy is a lifelong resident of the foothills.

Prior to joining the Partnership, Abernethy worked as an administrative intern with both the City of Lenoir and the Town of Matthews near Charlotte. In the city of Lenoir, he engaged directly with the Lenoir Business Advisory Board and the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission. While working with the town of Matthews, he assisted with the creation of the town's first downtown economic development organization.He replaces Josh Hallingse, who left to take another position.

He recently earned a master's degree in public administration from Appalachian State University with concentration in economic development and local government leadership. His major capstone research project focused on North Carolina Town and City Managers and their contributions in the economic development process.


His responsibilities as director of industry relations include:

  • Managing the partnership's Industrial Retention & Expansion Program to problem solve common needs and individual issues that prevent industry from growing and/or remaining in operation in Henderson County.
  • Supporting and protecting Henderson County's 135 existing manufacturers and encouraging job retention, job growth and new taxable investment.
  • Building effective professional relationships with utility and infrastructure allies, real-estate brokers and property owners to maintain HCPED's sites and buildings inventory and serve as a resource in understanding infrastructure capacity.

Abernethy can be reached at the partnership office at (828) 692-6373, by mobile phone at (828) 781-2576 and by email at