With the world opening up to remote workers and digital nomads, an increasing number of destinations are offering incentives to sweeten the packages. This includes West Virginia, which has announced that it will pay those who move there $12,000 (€10,084) and give them a year's free outdoor recreation worth over $2500 (€2101).
The Ascend WV program offers remote workers who move there $10,000 (€8404) in cash during their first year and $2000 (€1681) during the second year. They will be able to avail of a free co-working space to stay connected, and attend events to connect entrepreneurs with state business leaders. The ability to earn remote work certifications through West Virginia University and access to John Chambers College of Business and Economics’ entrepreneurship ecosystem will also be offered.
As the US state is known for its outdoor living, it is offering a recreation package for participants to encourage a healthy work-life balance. They can explore its 2032 miles of whitewater, 4000 rock-climbing routes, 1.5 million acres of public lands, 1500 miles of public trails and the newest US national park, New River Gorge Park and Preserve.
The package also offers guided excursions to experience West Virginia’s outdoor recreation venues and access to more than $1200 (€1009) in free outdoor gear rentals for use with family and friends. “We are rolling out the red carpet and inviting remote workers from across the country to make Almost Heaven, West Virginia their home,” says West Virginia governor, Jim Justice.
In order to be eligible for the program, participants must currently work remotely or have the ability to work remotely full-time at a business based outside of West Virginia, or be self-employed outside the state. Evidence of employment and income will be required prior to acceptance. They must reside full-time outside the state and have the ability to relocate to the greater Morgantown area within six months of acceptance. They are also required to be US citizens or permanent legal residents.
Applications are now being accepted for Morgantown, which will be the first of the state's participating cities, with others including Lewisburg and Shepherdstown. To learn more and apply to the Ascend WV remote work program, visit its website here.