CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) -The Charleston Roots Initiative’s application portal has reopened for people with ties to the Mountain State who are looking for full-time work in the Capital City.

The initiative is a program of the Charleston Area Alliance, the City of Charleston and Kanawha County that offers those with ties to West Virginia a relocation incentive package to move to Kanawha County for full-time employment. The Charleston Area Alliance says that package includes $5,000 and “local experiences” that have been tailored to the applicant’s interests.

According to the Charleston Area Alliance, individuals must be 18 years of age or older and live outside of Kanawha County in order to apply for the initiative. The full list of guidelines and eligibility requirements for applicants is available on the Charleston Roots website. The application form is also available online.

“Incentive programs, like Charleston Roots, help bring folks back home to Charleston and encourage those looking to plant roots to move to our Capital City,” said Charleston Mayor Amy Shuler Goodwin.  “Through our partnership with Charleston Area Alliance and Kanawha County, we have the opportunity to attract more people to our community and help fill high-demand positions in the area.”

According to the Charleston Area Alliance, applicants who are selected for the program have 90 days after they commit to the program to move to Kanawha County. They must also provide a proof of their new residency and employment to receive the payment from the initiative.

“Bringing good, qualified people to work in Kanawha County is a win-win for the workforce and our County as a whole,” said Kanawha County Commissioner Lance Wheeler. “The Kanawha County Commission supports this initiative and looks forward to welcoming new residents to Kanawha County.” 

Officials with the Charleston Area Alliance say the selection committee for the Charleston Roots Initiative includes representatives from their board of directors as well as from the City of Charleston and Kanawha County.

“The Roots program has shown us that there is a significant interest in relocating to the Charleston area and Kanawha County,” said Nicole Christian, President/CEO, Charleston Area Alliance.

Christian says a 2021 Talent Wars study from Development Counsellors International showed that the top three motivators for 7 million people who moved in 2020 were being closer to family, improved quality of life and accessing larger living spaces. Additional factors included costs of living, housing costs and housing availabilities. The study also found that about 50% of those people who moved in 2020 had been offered cash incentives.

“The Roots puts us right in the mix as a great option for relocation since our community aligns with the top decision factors,” Christian said.