Gov. Justice presents grants for BRIDGE pilot program

MARTINSBURG, WV (WOAY) Gov. Jim Justice joined Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs Executive Director Jill Upson to present $249,000 in grant funding to 13 organizations across Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

“It’s always a great day when we’re able to do things like awarding these grants, and this BRIDGE program that we’re talking about today is a big deal,” Gov. Justice said. “For those that are less fortunate, it gives them opportunities in a lot of ways.”

The ceremony was at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center as part of a new pilot program that aims to improve health and economic development in under-served communities across the state.

The pilot program, called Building Resources In Diverse Geographic Environments (BRIDGE), is a community revitalization effort to address poverty, improve community-wide health, stimulate labor force participation and support economic development. The program also aims to combat substance abuse, improve crime rates, and includes neighborhood revitalization.

Individual grants worth up to $25,000 were awarded to 13 local community organizations, nonprofits and colleges located within Berkeley and Jefferson counties.

Sponsored Content
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at