West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston
West Virginia State Capitol in Charleston

State says changes are being made to move DHHR forward

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Following Gov. Jim Justice’s announcement of a new leadership team to help address challenges facing the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR), the team consisting of Interim DHHR Cabinet Secretary Dr. Jeff Coben, Dr. Clay Marsh, and Retired Major General James Hoyer have announced their initial plans and actions.

“This powerhouse of a team immediately got to work on Monday,” said Gov. Justice. “We have made instant recommendations and instant moves to begin the process of moving DHHR forward by solving the issues identified by our expert team.”

As a result of personal follow-up following a job fair by DHHR’s Bureau for Social Services, two new Child Protective Service (CPS) Workers and one Youth Service Worker were hired in the Eastern Panhandle, which has experienced a critical shortage of staff in these areas. They will be immediately onboarded to serve the needs in the Eastern Panhandle.

To continue to recruit CPS workers, Gov. Justice today authorized a $5,000 hiring bonus for the positions of CPS Worker, CPS Worker Trainee and Social Service Worker 3 (Youth Services). This requires a one-year employment commitment in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties. Twenty-six counties are eligible for a $2,500 sign-on bonus for the positions of CPS Worker, CPS Worker Trainee and Social Service Worker 3 (Youth Services), which also requires a one-year employment commitment. The counties are Cabell, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Gilmer, Grant, Greenbrier, Hardy, Harrison, Kanawha, Lewis, Logan, Marion, Mercer, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Preston, Roane, Summers, Taylor, Wayne, and Webster.

Individuals seeking to apply for one of these positions may do so by visiting dhhr.wv.gov and clicking on the Employment tab at the top of the page.

Gov. Justice also issued an Executive Order which allows individuals who have retired from DHHR to come back on a limited basis while still drawing their full retirement.

Individuals who have recently retired from DHHR, and who wish to explore opportunities to assist with this new incentive, please contact DHHR.

Additionally, Interim DHHR Secretary Coben has immediately lifted the DHHR hiring freeze.

“I am pleased that this dynamic leadership team, with the help of the Governor’s staff, has worked through hiring issues at DHHR and the West Virginia Division of Personnel to begin clearing out lists of potential applicants who may want to work at DHHR but may have fallen through the cracks,” said Dr. Coben.

DHHR plans to immediately begin recruiting a future workforce by coordinating with and reaching out to high school programs, the Mountaineer Challenge Academy, West Virginia Department of Education’s Technical and Adult Education division, the West Virginia Community & Technical College system, college-level health sciences students, and the Jobs & Hope West Virginia program.

Dr. Marsh outlined the priorities for DHHR which are to improve the health and well-being of all West Virginians, strengthen the workforce, protect the most vulnerable, focus on behavioral health needs, and address substance use disorder.

Mr. Hoyer added that the state’s Joint Interagency Task Force and Joint Information Center will offer support to DHHR as well.

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