Education and the Arts Cabinet Secretary Gayle Manchin addressed local community leaders and concerned citizens recently regarding the significant budget deficits facing the state of West Virginia as part of Gov. Jim Justice’s Save Our State (SOS) tour.

Press conferences were held at the West Virginia State Office Building in Clarksburg on Monday, March 6, and earlier at the West Virginia State Office Building in Huntington on March 3, where Secretary Manchin advocated the governor’s plan for improving the state’s economy, which includes balancing the budget and creating jobs for West Virginia’s future.

Secretary Manchin discussed how drastic cuts to state government will cost West Virginia’s citizens in the long run. Extreme cuts to services provided by state government programs will considerably affect many of West Virginia’s most vulnerable citizens, including people with disabilities and senior citizens.

More than 13,000 West Virginians with disabilities receive disability-related employment services through the Division of Rehabilitation Services, with 6,000 transitioning high school students receiving career planning, pre-employment transition services and postsecondary educational support. State budget reductions may force an even larger waiting list for these vital services.

The Division of Rehabilitation Services is part of the Office of Education and the Arts.