Robbie Worrell, the town’s new public works director, is hoping he can turn his more than two decades of experience in the private sector into a successful career in public service.
Worrell worked for Robert Bosch Tool for 25 years before taking the Knightdale job, starting in sales and working in corporate management since 2000. A big part of the job was negotiating contracts, Worrell said.
“I can deal with people and communicate with people, but there are different procedures you have to learn,” he said of his adjustment. “I’ve been learning every day.”
Worrell started May 9 as the head of the department responsible for keeping facilities working and attractive, not to mention preparing and clearing roads during winter storms. He oversees the town’s grounds crew as well.
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Meeting Development Services Director Chris Hills got Worrell thinking about working in town government at a time when he was looking for a change. Worrell has lived in Clayton, where is wife is from, since 1993.
“The ability to serve citizens and effect change was really exciting,” he said of his change of direction.
He looks to his experience in the corporate world as a plus in the new job. “It kind of gave you the perspective of outside looking in,” he said. “You see different ways of doing business. Some are going to be different.”
Worrell, who grew up in Tampa, Fla., played football and baseball at Cameron University in Oklahoma, where he studied marketing and economics. He was captain of the football team for two years. He said his athletic experience helped him at Bosch, and is helping him as he adjusts to his new job.
“I’ve been a part of a team since I was 5,” he said.
Town Manager Seth Lawless also mentioned teamwork being an important part of Worrell’s job.
“Our citizens rely on Public Works to take care of our parks system, greenways, and public infrastructure,” Lawless said in a statement. “Robbie’s knowledge, experience and leadership skills will be a great asset to the department and to the community.”
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826