Gov. Cecil H. Underwood's cabinet will conclude a series of local visits with a special cabinet meeting on Friday.
The meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. at Bridgeport High School and is open to the public and representatives from nine counties in North Central West Virginia.
Bringing the cabinet meeting to the region is a way to improve communication between state and local officials, said Dan Page, spokesperson from the governor's office.
"These regional meetings are an attempt to open dialogue between the local government and the state government," Page said. "It's important for us to know the issues in the different counties."
The Bridgeport session is the sixth in a series of cabinet meetings held in different regions of the state. The administration began the regional cabinet meetings last fall and they have proved to be effective, Page said. The governor's office has learned of issues relevant to specific counties, he said.
One topic of discussion will be economic development.
"Since January 1997, companies have invested more than $1.9 billion in new economic development projects throughout the nine-county region," said Gov. Underwood. "These projects resulted in the creation of nearly 6,600 jobs."
Discussions will be wide range, but will include the continued growth of the aerospace and telecommunication industries in the region as well as several highway projects planned for the remainder of 2000.
Today's schedule follows:
n 9 a.m. at Bridgeport High School. Consolidated Public Retirement Board Outreach Officer Karen Cormany answers questions about the retirement system.
n 10:30 a.m. at the FBI Center in Harrison County. First Lady Hovah Underwood and Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families Deputy Director Barbara Gebhard tour the Lasting Impressions Child Development Center and the First Lady reads to a group of children.
n Noon at Minard's Spaghetti Inn in Clarksburg. Tax and Revenue Secretary Robin C. Capehart addresses members of the Clarksburg Lions Club regarding the final report and the recommendations of the Governor's Commission on Fair Taxation and other tax issues and concerns of area community leaders.
n Noon at Scott Place Homeless Shelter in Fairmont. First Lady Hovah Underwood and Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families Deputy Director Barbara Gebhard tour a homeless shelter.
n 12:45 p.m. at Chamber of Commerce in Fairmont. First Lady Hovah Underwood and Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families Deputy Director Barbara Gebhard attend a luncheon with Marion County Family Resource Network board members and staff.
Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1443.