Economic Development Partners announced Monday that the group is getting close to hiring a full-time director.

Bernie Murphy, who currently serves as the interim director, is serving on a temporary basis until a full-time person is hired. In a previous board meeting, members agreed that a full-time executive director would be in place by May 15.

"We've actually had over 75 applicants for the position. We have narrowed it down to five candidates," said Gary Kennon, president of EDP.

The candidates will be interviewing over the next few days and the position will be filled soon.

The board also set "reasonable expectations" to be accomplished before 2015 and in future years. They are assisting in the expansion of one business every two to three years and recruiting one new business of 50 jobs or more every four to six years.

The board announced it would change its name to the Jefferson County Industrial Development Corp., which more correctly reflects the board's vision, which is to attract and retain manufacturing jobs. The official name change will come within the next few months.

Kennon said the board is at a bit of a standstill due to inactivity with the economic development oversight board, JC-INVEST. Kennon said that board will set the overall vision for economic development in the county and has a say in who sits on the EDP board. Until the board is finalized, board members don't want to move too far in one direction and back-track on progress, Kennon said.