RANSON, W.Va. (WDVM) — A number of people gathered at the Ranson Civic Center in West Virginia for a listening tour and public forum held by the Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs.
“We call it HHOMA for short,” said Jill Upson, executive director for HHOMA, “And so our office was established back in 20-12, and we act as a facilitator between state government and various targeted communities.”
Communities such as senior citizens, people of color or those with special needs. In these listening tours, HHOMA brings in a variety of resources and representatives from Charleston to communities just like Ranson.
“So that people don’t have to drive there or call there to have their questions and concerns addressed. We actually come out to the people,” said Upson.
Before arriving in Ranson, HHOMA held listening tours in Dunbar, Keyser, and Huntington. And Upson says that at each forum, people voiced specific concerns to their area.
“So when we were in the Huntington area, they had a lot of concerns about the way that community policing was being done,” said Upson.
In Ranson, people were curious about the various programs provided by the department of agriculture as well as new career opportunities.
“Jobs are a concern throughout all of West Virginia,” said Anthony Grant, Ranson city council member, “Anytime there is more information about new jobs in the area, especially jobs with increase in salaries, there’s a lot of interest.”
And what peaked many people’s interest at the forum was the increased wages for correctional officers.
“Good to hear today that in the Department of Corrections, that those salaries have increased and we’re getting on par with the rest of the nation,” said Grant.