Ascend West Virginia, a remote work program, is expanding.
In a press conference on Nov. 29, program founders and other officials announced that the greater Elkins area is joining Ascend’s three other locations in Morgantown, the Eastern Panhandle and the Greenbrier Valley.
During the round-table discussion, the application period to join the program at the new location officially opened. Between 25-30 new Ascenders will join the almost 150 individuals who are already part of Ascend West Virginia.
The goal behind Ascend is to bring remote workers from across the country to West Virginia. With the current locations in Morgantown, the Greenbrier Valley and the Eastern Panhandle, Ascend has already brought 75 people to the Mountain State with a 98 % retention rate. The individuals were chosen from a pool of 20,000 applicants.
“The heart behind this program really boils down to these three principles: community, purpose and the outdoors. Those who have already made the move to West Virginia are already planting roots here and making a difference. We are thrilled to share our home among the hills with more remote workers and look forward to adding this new option in our state’s Potomac Highlands region,” said co-founder of the Wing 2 Wing Foundation Alys Smith.
Elkins Mayor Jerry Marco, who was also present at the press conference, noted the many reasons to visit or live in Elkins. The art community, outdoor recreation opportunities and shopping area were among the things Marco listed. When speaking about visiting the area, he said, “We want it to be an experience, something that sticks with you.” Marco continued by talking about the people of Elkins saying, “it’s the people that make it magical and pull everything together.”
“The greater Elkins area is an ideal location for Ascend West Virginia as it is the western gateway to the Monongahela National Forest, which provides a lifetime of outdoor recreation opportunities,” West Virginia University’s Danny Twilley said. “Coupled with a deeply caring and committed community, our future West Virginians will find a great place to live, work, and play.”
Those who join Ascend West Virginia gain several incentives, including a $12,000 relocation incentive paid in installments over two years. Additionally, they cite one year of free outdoor recreation, co-working space, professional advancement and networking opportunities.
To learn more about Ascend West Virginia or to sign up for the new location, go to ascendwv.com.