(a) The executive director may employ economic development representatives to be paid a base salary within legislative appropriations to the West Virginia Development Office, subject to applicable contract provisions pursuant to section four of this article. Economic development representatives may receive performance-based incentives and expenses paid from private funds from a nonprofit corporation contracting with the West Virginia Development Office pursuant to the provisions of section four of this article. The executive director shall establish job descriptions and responsibilities of economic development representatives, subject to the provisions of any contract with a nonprofit corporation entered into pursuant to section four of this article.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of this code to the contrary, economic development representatives employed within the West Virginia Development Office are not subject to the procedures and protections provided by articles six and six-a, chapter twenty-nine of this code. Any employee of the West Virginia Development Office on the effective date of this article who applies for employment as an economic development representative is not entitled to the protections of article six, chapter twenty-nine with respect to hiring procedures and qualifications; and upon accepting employment as an economic development representative, the employee relinquishes the protections provided for in article two, chapter six-c and article six, chapter twenty-nine of this code.