Media Release- 5/24/2021

Applications for First Ascend West Virginia City Close in One Week

More than 7,000 people have already applied to live and work in Morgantown, West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (May 24, 2021) – Time is running out to apply for the nation’s premiere remote worker recruitment program, Ascend West Virginia. Applications for the program’s first host city of Morgantown close in just seven short days—leaving $12,000 cash and a year’s worth of free outdoor recreation on the line for the top 50 applicants.

“When we launched Ascend West Virginia just five weeks ago, no one could have expected the overwhelming response we received from those looking to answer the call of the mountains,” said Brad D. Smith, Ascend West Virginia Founder and Intuit Executive Chairman. “What a joy it’s been to see applications flood in from across the country and around the world. Our message and vision for the program remains simple: let mountain living in the great outdoors take hold and transform your life. I encourage all those interested to apply while there’s still time.”

Applications Reach Global Scale

To date, more than 7,000 people—from all 50 states and 71 countries—have taken the first step and submitted their applications for Ascend Morgantown.

“I’ve said for years that there’s no reason West Virginia can’t shine on the national stage, and we’re doing just that with the Ascend West Virginia program. To know that our program has touched people in every corner of the country and worldwide is truly one-of-a-kind. I’m so proud of the work we’ve done and can’t wait to welcome our first 50 new residents to the Mountain State soon,” said Governor Jim Justice.

Applicants vary greatly based on geographic location, with applications from Pennsylvania, Florida, California, Virginia and Texas rounding out the top 5 states with submissions. Top industries of employment among applicants span from healthcare and educational services to computer systems design.

Total Incentive Package Tops $20,000 in Value

It’s easy to apply for the Ascend West Virginia program, and the line-up of program incentives packs a big punch.

Cash: $12,000 in cash with no strings attached. The funds can be used to assist with moving and living expenses or fuel new passions and hobbies in West Virginia.

Free Outdoor Recreation: One year of free outdoor recreation to fully explore 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 newest national park: New River Gorge Park and Preserve. The package is valued at more than $2,500 and encourages a healthy work-life balance filled with hiking, ATV-ing, ziplining, rafting, rock climbing, golfing, skiing, and more.

Free coworking space: A break free from the ordinary with access to inspiring spaces in the heart of thriving mountain towns. Here, remote workers will have modern amenities to stay connected and access to more than $1,200 in free outdoor gear rentals for use with family and friends.

Professional advancement: The ability to earn remote work certifications through West Virginia University and access to John Chambers College of Business and Economics’ entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Networking: The chance to be a guest at a variety of exclusive events to connect entrepreneurs with state business leaders and guided excursions to experience West Virginia’s abundant outdoor recreation assets.

“Ascend West Virginia is an outstanding remote worker program where the beauty of the state encourages people to live a more balanced lifestyle,” said Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University. “The University is proud to offer programming, collaborations and connections that will bring others together and, in turn, will enhance our communities.”

The full relocation package is valued at more than $20,000 and can be viewed at

West Virginia’s Program Uses Natural Assets for Talent Attraction & Recruitment

Ascend West Virginia is aimed at recruiting outdoor-enthusiast professionals to the Mountain State. The program is designed to allow adventurers to enjoy world-class outdoor recreation, uncrowded spaces, and a low cost of living while staying fully connected to their job.

“We want nothing more than for West Virginia to be a match made in heaven for our applicants,” said Chelsea Ruby, Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Tourism. “Ascend West Virginia is the only remote worker recruitment program in the country that leverages national assets for talent attraction and recruitment, so consider this one last and final call to all outdoor lovers to apply and make the move to the mountains.”

Based on preliminary application data, more than half of all applicants have a strong connection to the great outdoors, with favorite activities ranging from camping and hiking to fishing, backpacking, bicycling, and beyond.

Two More Cities are on the Horizon

Applications for Ascend Morgantown are set to close on 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, May 31. But rest assured, more Ascend West Virginia cities are on the way.

The next two cities on the docket are Shepherdstown, a luxurious mountain town located just an hour outside of Washington, D.C. and Lewisburg, a southern-style community with a bustling downtown and thriving arts scene.

The application window for these next two cities is slated to open mid-summer.

“What makes Ascend West Virginia so unique is the variety of mountain towns available to choose from,” said Alys Smith, Ascend West Virginia Co-Founder. “No matter what form of mountain living you desire, there will be an Ascend city with plenty of amenities and outdoor recreation for you.”

Learn More & Apply Now

To learn more about the Ascend West Virginia program and submit your application, visit