Ferguson hopes to create jobs

COLUMBUS, Ohio — State Rep. Ron Ferguson is looking forward to his first term in office and creating good legislation that will improve the lives of those in Eastern Ohio.

Ferguson, R-Wintersville, was sworn in to the 134th General Assembly last week. He represents the 96th Ohio House District, which includes Jefferson and Monroe counties and a portion of Belmont County.

Born and raised in the Ohio Valley, Ferguson said he is honored and excited to begin his term representing the district.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues here in Columbus to create good legislation that will improve the livelihoods of my constituents back home,” he said.

Ferguson said he believes the valley is on the verge of an opportunity that will create thousands of jobs through the development of the natural gas and oil industry. He is also interested in the creation of jobs through his development of a local entertainment center in Steubenville that will not only provide residents with jobs, but also fun activities for residents in the community to enjoy.

“It’s an important part of my life right now to create those jobs in the valley, and it’s something for families to get out and do together,” he said.

The facility is currently in the preliminary stages. Ferguson said the future center will include an indoor/outdoor component, bowling, arcade center, sports bar and grill, ax throwing, miniature golf, virtual reality room and more, he said.

Ferguson’s brother also owns and operates a local business — Ferguson’s House of Furniture — which recently opened its doors at the Ohio Valley Mall. The opening in Belmont County allowed for the creation of more jobs in the region while also filling an open retail space, Ferguson said.

Ferguson said he hopes to be appointed to three committees in particular — the Energy and Natural Resource Committee, Economic and Workforce Development Committee and the Criminal Justice Committee.

His main goal is to be appointed to the energy and natural resource committee in order to help secure jobs for those in the area through the gas and oil industry.

“I really want to focus on the energy portfolio that we have here in Eastern Ohio, which is why the energy and natural resource committee is at the top of my list for committee assignments,” he said. “The committee would allow me to make sure the coal industry that’s been so important to this area for such a long time, and the natural gas industry that continues to expand, is being properly used, executed and expanded upon.”

Additionally, he said he is hoping to be involved with the workforce development committee in hopes of securing jobs and ensuring small business owners’ security.

The committee appointments should be announced by the beginning of next month, he said.

Another matter that Ferguson plans to focus on during his term is election confidence and security.

“That’s going to be a really big push for me as well, so that people feel certain. I support everybody’s right to vote and their right to vote for anyone they choose, and I just want to make sure that everyone feels confident that their vote was secure and the vote of everyone else was secure so we can have faith in our election system,” he said.


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