The new executive director of the Washington County Economic Development Council will focus on bringing higher-paying, higher-quality jobs to the area.

"I would like to end my first year pointing to some actual companies that have decided to do business in Washington County because of my efforts," said Stephen Frahm, who will become director March 18.Many residents have complained that the county's youth are leaving home because they're overqualified for the community's low-paying jobs.

The county's average wage is 76 percent of the state average, Frahm said.

His mission is to boost Washington pay to Utah levels, and he will focus on retaining, expanding and attracting clean industry and commerce.