“I may have spent the first 22 years of my life dreaming of a way out, but I can tell you with clear eyes and full heart I’ve spent every day since looking for a way back home.”
Intuit executive and Kenova native Brad Smith hopes his words inspire others to seek out the West Virginia he loves, building a better future for themselves and the state through a new remote worker program which announced three initial host communities March 23 – Morgantown, Shepherdstown and Lewisburg.
The program, supported by the State and West Virginia University through a $25 million gift from Smith and his wife, Alys, is differentiated from others by its unique outdoor recreation components. The program targets fully employed individuals from outside the state who can work anywhere and want to be part of a contemporary, experience-driven lifestyle. Outdoor enthusiasts or young families who are inspired to help create a more diverse, inclusive and purposeful community will be given preference in a competitive application process.”
Article By: Morgantown Area Partnership <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Read more about it here: https://provost.wvu.edu/centers-institutes/oedc
Mission And Vision
The mission of the OEDC is to enhance the quality of life for WV citizens by connecting people to outdoor recreation in our state and by growing the state’s outdoor recreation economy.
We are evaluating the strategies that other outdoor-oriented states have used to explode their outdoor recreation revenue, grow their population and improve the health of their citizens, and we are working towards creating those same results here in WV. This includes creating awareness of the unique wealth of beautiful spaces where our citizens and visitors can recreate in; acquiring grants to build beginner mountain biking trails and other outdoor recreation projects; developing incentives for businesses and entrepreneurs to move to and remain in WV; and developing a marketing campaign to rewrite the narrative for West Virginia.
Building a vibrant community of citizens who love to play outdoors and have the job opportunities to stay and thrive in WV cannot be done without engaging our most valuable asset, our youth. The OEDC offers invaluable learning experiences to youth through the Science Adventure School and Science Behind the Sport. These programs are dedicated to empowering and educating West Virginia’s youth through linking outdoor education, recreation, and science. Sparking both their love of learning and being outside, we are building steppingstones to the next generation of innovators, educators and outdoor enthusiasts.
Reshaping the state is an undertaking only achievable by bringing together as many community partners as possible, if you are invested in seeing WV reach its potential, we want to include your voice in our public discussions held around the state. By building alliances between West Virginia University, educators, state and local governments, outdoor industry, and outdoor enthusiasts, we will redefine our state and enhance the quality of life for the citizens of West Virginia.