Exciting stuff is happening here, and the world is finally starting to see what West Virginians have known all along.
Morgantown might see an influx of new faces soon, following the state’s announcement this week that it will join Lewisburg and Shepherdstown in a program designed to attract remote workers. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to ignite the state’s economy and to bring innovators and entrepreneurs here in hopes they stay for good.
The program comes on the heels of a groundbreaking study from the WVU Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative showing that West Virginia offers more to people who love outdoor recreation than any other place in the nation. The state offers the greatest density of whitewater in the country, some of the best climbing in the East, and thousands of miles for hiking and biking—a greater concentration of opportunities even than outdoor-loving meccas like Colorado and the Pacific Northwest.
“Morgantown is viewed as a large, vibrant college town that is small enough to make residents feel a part of a community, but has the amenities of a much larger area,” says Danny Twilley, assistant dean of the WVU collaborative. “Meanwhile, Lewisburg is a small community that is known as a destination for visitors to West Virginia, with its quaint Main Street and beauty. And Shepherdstown is a historic college town on the banks of the Potomac River that allows for convenience to larger metropolitan areas.”
The remote worker program will have a yet-to-be-announced financial incentive and plenty of other perks designed specifically to lure remote workers. Morgantown magazine will bring you all of the details on the study, the program, and more efforts by the state in the upcoming Summer issue. Stay tuned.