West Virginia's New Remote Worker Program Will Pay You $12,000 to Move There

The Mountain State's new initiative, Ascend WV, wants to help outdoor enthusiasts put down roots — and has major incentives for remote workers.

Almost everything about the way we work has changed in the past year, from the technology we use, to where (and when) we clock in. Many people have come to enjoy the benefits of working from home — some become international digital nomads in countries like Dubai and Dominica, which are offering new extended-stay visa programs. For Americans, the latest place to launch a remote worker program is a bit closer to home: the Appalachian state of West Virginia.

Today, West Virginia announced a program called Ascend WV, which will pay people $12,000 and give them a year's worth of free outdoor recreation if they move to the Mountain State. The program is kicking off by accepting applicants who will commit to living in Morgantown (later cities will include Shepherdstown and Lewisburg, one of America's favorite mountain towns.)

Sunset reflections on the New River in West Virginia
The New River Gorge in West Virginia. Tim Pennington/Getty Images

The Ascend WV program, supported by a $25-million grant from West Virginia native Brad D. Smith and his wife Alys, will entice outdoor adventurers looking for wide-open spaces and a low cost of living. Those who are accepted will enjoy several benefits: $12,000 in cash with no strings attached; one year of free outdoor recreation on public lands; access to free co-working space in West Virginia's mountain towns; free access to outdoor gear rentals; the ability to earn remote work certifications through West Virginia University; and networking opportunities and events.

West Virginia is an outdoor-lover's paradise, with 2,032 miles of whitewater, 4,000 rock climbing routes, 1.5 million acres of public lands, 1,500 miles of public trails, and America's most recent national park: New River Gorge Park and Preserve. The state also has offbeat attractions, like the Green Bank Observatory and the National Radio Quiet Zone. But there are also plenty of places to indulge and unwind, like The Greenbrier, a legendary resort in White Sulphur Springs.

To learn more and apply to the Ascend WV Remote Work Program, visit www.AscendWV.com.

Aerial Perspective Over The Riverfront Downtown City Center of Morgantown, West Virginia
Downtown Morgantown, West Virginia. Chris Boswell/Getty Images
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