Thorn Selected to Lead USDA WV Rural Development Office

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — Ryan Thorn has been named head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s West Virginia Office of Rural Development.

Thorn was born, raised and educated in Mountain State and currently serves as director of economic development for U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) where he has served for five years, according to the senator’s office. .

Prior to working for the senator, he had 15 years of professional experience in the private and public sectors, working in government affairs and economic development, according to Manchin’s office.

Born and raised in West Virginia, Ryan Thorn has spent his career advocating for West Virginians, small businesses and communities to improve our entire state through economic development, expansion and growth. workforce retention,” Manchin said.

Thorn holds a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College and a master’s degree from West Virginia University. He is also a board member of the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Foundation. Manchin’s office says Thorn was the first member of his immediate family to graduate from college and became an advocate for lifelong learning.

He grew up as the son of a coal miner and says he was taught the importance of hard work, service to others and dedication to creating opportunities for rural communities from an early age.

While working for Senator Manchin, Thorn’s role has included working with local, state and federal stakeholders to attract new businesses and grow existing ones, strengthen public infrastructure, develop a skilled and ready workforce and create economically diverse communities throughout West Virginia, the senator’s office said.

“Ryan has been a wonderful public servant, helping countless West Virginians and organizations during his time serving the great people of West Virginia as a dedicated member of my staff. I have been very fortunate to have Ryan on my team, and the people of West Virginia felt better for it. Ryan will be greatly missed, and while Gayle and I are sad to see him go, we know he will continue his great work for Mountain State. to the USDA Congratulations and good luck to Ryan in his new venture, the USDA is fortunate to have you on their team in West Virginia.

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