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New initiative gives people reason to move to Charleston

Published: Apr. 21, 2021 at 12:43 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin, the Charleston Area Alliance and the Charleston Convention & Visitors Bureau announced a new campaign Wednesday morning.

It’s called the Charleston Roots Initiative. The program targets people with West Virginia ties that can work remotely or fill high-demand positions in the area. This will allow remote workers and other innovative people a place to enjoy four-season recreational opportunities with access to the amenities of city living at a low cost.

“The jobs are here and jobs that you are looking for across the country are right here in our back yard,” said Mayor Goodwin.

“With the rise in remote working opportunities and West Virginia’s impressive COVID-19 response, Charleston possesses a great opportunity for business and talent growth,” said Steve Rubin, Interim President/CEO, Charleston Area Alliance. “People are already choosing Charleston’s low cost-of-living and access to recreation, dining, and unique experiences, and this program provides an added incentive for those considering the move.”

The package includes $5,000, mentorship and networking opportunities, and local experiences and memberships tailored to applicants’ lifestyles. There is also $1,000 for West Virginians who recruit a family member or friend to return to Charleston.

“Charleston is uniquely positioned to provide big city amenities while also being a mecca for outdoor recreation,” said Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin. “Remote workers can come to Charleston and live affordably and find activities to fit every lifestyle. We are also excited to work with companies looking to engage those in high-demand positions.”

Officials say the program is targeting full-time employed remote workers or those looking to fill high-demand jobs in the area.

“The mayor had the confidence to say let’s go ahead and put this together and then the alliance and I want to thank the board of the alliance (who) came in and said we would like to participate and put in $50,000 dollars,” said Rubin.

The city of Charleston also contributed $50,000 dollars to the project.

“In this office alone we have 25 programmer needs,” said Rubin.

Deedra keys-Switzer is one who chose to move back. She said Charleston is a place to thrive in ways the big city she is from could never have allowed.

“Spirit of connectivity is really what made me want to stay in Charleston,” said Keys-Switzer. “To the point where they say let’s give people support and lets give people the specific financial support to begin to thrive here.”

If you want to apply, you must be 18 years of age or older and currently live outside of a 50-mile radius of Charleston, West Virginia.

Applications are being accepted and you can apply here.

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