CHARLESTON, W.Va. — State Commerce Secretary Keith Burdette says when he leaves the job this month, he promises to leave incoming Commerce Secretary Woody Thrasher with a “skilled staff.”

Governor-elect Jim Justice announced Thrasher, a Bridgeport businessman, to the position last month. Thrasher is the president of The Thrasher Group, an engineering and architectural firm.

Burdette has been the secretary of commerce in the Tomblin administration.

“I love this job,” Burdette told MetroNews. “I love the people I work with. I think we’ve made some really remarkable progress in a lot of areas. We’ve struggled through the changes in the energy economy, but I leave this job in good hands.”

Burdette said he’s proud of his staff and believe they will continue to do great work under the Justice administration.

“They’ve been able to compete on the big stage and they’ve been able to compete day to day on the small stage, the small companies that are doing expansions. They’re doing that pretty regularly all the time, so we’ve given him a good foundation,” he said.

Justice previously said he hired Thrasher due to his experience growing jobs and his passion to serve the people of West Virginia.

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