West Virginia’s new program brings in over 50 new residents to Morgantown

Published: Nov. 11, 2021 at 4:36 PM EST
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - Ascend West Virginia works to promote the state and attract remote workers to different areas across West Virginia.

The program offers people $12,000 to move to West Virginia. Ascend West Virginia says the acceptance rate for this program like Harvard’s with 7,500 applicants and only 53 slots. Now, those 53 people are living in Morgantown in large part to this program.

The program was first announced in April.

Applicants must be 18 or older with a full-time remote job at a company located outside of West Virginia.

The $12,000 the program offers is paid over two years, with $10,000 divided in monthly payments for the first year and $2,000 paid at the end of the second year.

WVU Assistant Dean for the Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative Dr. Danny Twilley says the program is designed for those who believe in three pillars.

“They have a sense of community; they want that connection. The next is purpose. We want people to come here and make a difference and then we know we need to have an appreciation for the outdoors,” said Dr. Twilley.

Dr. Twilley says some of the ascenders come all the way from California.

“So, when you look at our youth growing up and they get this sense that of like ‘hold on, people are willing to move from California to be here and they have vibrant and healthy careers, I can do that too’ and that’s a powerful message,” said Dr. Twilley.

Dr. Twilley says with Morgantown, Shepherdstown, and Lewisburg, the program is projected to have a high economic value to the state and local communities.

“I mean we’re talking; it’ll have at least $124 million economic impact and support 404 jobs.”

The program is looking to expand to Shepherdstown next. People interested in applying can do so here.

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