Williams set for commerce post

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed Jay Williams, former Mayor of Youngstown, as the head of the Economic Development Administration, which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Williams’ new title in the key post of President Barack Obama’s administration will be assistant secretary for economic development.

Lawmakers praised Williams’ selection.

The president ”could not have chosen a better or more qualified person” for the job, said U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan.

Williams’ ”impressive record of service” in Youngstown and Washington make him ”uniquely qualified” to lead the EDA, said U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican.

Williams ”understands how to strengthen our economy and was instrumental in helping communities take the next steps following the auto rescue,” U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, a Democrat, said.

Williams was Youngstown mayor from 2005 to 2011, when he left to become auto czar. He then became deputy director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he worked with local level officials across the U.S.