The Official Website of the State of West Virginia

Remote approach luring people to WV


Ascend West Virginia, a $25 million program founded and funded by Intuit executive chairman Brad Smith and wife Alys, has attracted 53 remote workers to Morgantown, with more set to be added there, in Lewisburg and in Shepherdstown. 

Dr. Danny Twilley, assistant dean at the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative at West Virginia University, said the effort will be ongoing and somewhat dependent on technological advances.

Ascend West Virginia awards $12,000 for an out-of-state worker to relocate; one year of free outdoor recreation; a free co-working space in which new arrivals have a home base and a way of making friends; more than $1,200 in free outdoor rentals; and the ability to earn remote work certifications through WVU.

Meanwhile, the city of Charleston and the Charleston Area Alliance are moving ahead with their own worker relocation program. The city’s program is a little broader in that it also recruits regular, onsite workers. It offers $5,000 and an additional incentive of $1,000 if a friend or family member also relocates to the capital city.

About 170 people have applied so far, with 12 having been selected in the first round, said City Hall Spokeswoman Mackenzie Spencer.

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