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RBC | Tia Murry is the new dual-director of the Department of Human Resources for Rio Blanco and Moffat counties. Thursday, April 1, 2021 marked two months in the position after moving to Craig to take on the brand new role, which spans large swaths of northwestern Colorado.
Murry comes to the position with more than two decades of experience, having worked in human services for the states of Oklahoma and Georgia, among other such accolades as owning and operating a childcare center, directing a therapeutic foster care agency, and overseeing programs for Goodwill Industries. Murry also has a Masters degree in Human Relations from the University of Science and Arts in Oklahoma.
She first started working in human services after moving to Georgia with her college-sweetheart.
“I just kind of fell into it, and loved it once I did,” said Murry, explaining how her experience as a single parent helped shape her understanding and appreciation for services like childcare assistance, as one example.
Murry noted that when she first traveled to the area, it was more rural than she expected, despite having grown up in the small town of Chickasha, Oklahoma. Still, after spending her first 30 days “getting the lay of the land,” she sees parallels to the other small communities where she’s lived.
“One of the things I knew about small communities, at least from my experiences, [was] that they really supported one another,” said Murry.
One way that self-reliance manifests itself, according to Murry’s observations, is filling in the gaps in childcare services in the area. “I’m not saying that there’s not a need, it just seems like the communities have learned to take care of themselves, and to fill that need,” she said.
Murry noted other needs or areas that could use some attention in the region, including transportation, affordable housing and a limited number of specialized services for things like trauma, counseling and domestic violence.
Murry’s role as a dual-director splits her time 60-40 between both counties, working in Moffat on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and traveling to work in Rio Blanco on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though her schedule is flexible.
As far as strategy goes for addressing the human service needs of both counties, Murry said she’s focused on making sure existing services have what they need to succeed, and increasing community awareness about available resources.
Murry will also be developing new positions including some more dual-county positions.
She emphasized that no one government department could ever take care of all the needs of a community, and tackling issues such as affordable housing will require more community involvement.
“So I am hoping that as I am here longer, and get to know who the movers and shakers are in the community, that I’m connecting to those individuals, and that we’re all coming to the table to see what we can do for the community.”
Murry said she’s excited about the opportunity and looks forward to connecting with more people. She noted that she’s open to meeting people in person, and said she’s looking for opportunities to get involved locally.
“Whether it’s in the community or if you just want to create a taskforce, and want other community members to be a part of it. I’m looking for opportunities like that as well,” said Murry.
You can contact Tia Murry via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
By LUCAS TURNER | email@example.com