For much of America’s workforce, where they live has little to do with doing their job — a fact made crystal clear by the pandemic. So why not live in West Virginia?
The Mountain State wants to make a deal with remote workers: move there, and they will pay you $12,000.
Free outdoor recreation packages and gear are also included, bringing the total offer’s value to $20,000. Activities range from whitewater rafting to skiing to off-roading and more.
The program, called Ascend WV, “was born with the mission of sharing West Virginia’s unbeatable quality of life with remote workers just like you,” the official website says.
The first $10,000 will be paid out over the course of the first year living in West Virginia, with the remaining $2,000 coming in year two.
Launched Monday, Ascend WV showcases the state’s natural resources and beauty in hopes of drawing in outdoors-loving professionals who will settle down there, helping reverse the state’s shrinking population trend, The Associated Press reported.
Single people, couples and families are all welcome, though there are many rules in place, including that the applicant must be employed and able to work remotely.
“We want to give folks the opportunity to escape big cities,” state tourism cabinet secretary Chelsea Ruby told the outlet. “In West Virginia, there are no crowded places, long commutes or traffic jams. There’s just plenty of places to put down roots and explore the great outdoors.”
In the first phase, just 50 applicants will be accepted, and placed in Morgantown, home to West Virginia University, which completes athletically in the Big 12 Conference.
More spots will be opened in 2022, and two more towns added to the program — Lewisburg and Shephardstown.
The application window is open from now until the end of May, with interviews scheduled for the first week of June.