Looking for a change in scenery? West Virginia will pay remote workers $12,000 to move there

Apr 15, 2021

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States use all sorts of incentives to lure workers. But free whitewater rafting and rock climbing? This might be a first.

West Virginia is using some of its best assets — the world-class outdoor activities found all around The Mountain State — along with $12,000 in cold, hard cash to try and entice some of the remote workforce to relocate.

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The Ascend West Virginia program aims to attract digital workers looking to shake up their work-from-home routine and get some fresh air. Program participants will have access to free co-working space in their community, as well as free bike rentals. The website even has a cost-of-living calculator that shows how much further money goes in West Virginia compared to popular metropolitan areas.

Ascend West Virginia is billed as a “long-term talent attraction program.” It will pay approved applicants $12,000 to find a home in one of three West Virginia communities: Morgantown, Lewisburg and Shepherdstown. They will also get a year of free rentals for outdoor activities such as rafting, zip lining, off-road excursions and even golf.

Related: 5 things to know about America’s newest national park

How does it work?

You would get $10,000 in monthly payments during your first year living in West Virginia. At the end of your second year, you would get an additional $2,000 payment. Of course, you have to apply first. It takes about a half-hour to complete the application and the deadline to apply is May 31.

The small print says that the first 50 selectees must live full-time in Morgantown, the college town that’s home to West Virginia University. (Next year, the program will take applicants for Lewisburg and Shepherdstown.) Additionally, you have to live in West Virginia for two consecutive years to get the full $12,000.

Eligible applicants must provide proof of full-time employment and your ability to work remotely, and you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident eligible to work in the U.S. Only out-of-state applicants will be considered, and a background check may be required.

Featured photo by Sean Pavone/Getty Images

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