CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) –According to U.S. Census data from 2020, the City of Charleston was named the fastest shrinking small city in America. So to combat this data, city leaders created the Charleston Roots Relocation Incentive Program.

They hope to attract remote workers and fill job openings in Charleston’s key industries.

“Instead of just giving money to the individual who will come back, we also want to reward the parent, or relative, or friend to get them to come back,” said Steve Rubin with the Charleston Area Alliance.

$5,000 is the incentive to move individuals to the greater Charleston area. West Virginians who recruit individuals can also be rewarded $1,000.

Along with these monetary incentives, recreational programs and job assistance will be provided. But how will this plan align with the governor’s state-wide incentive program, announced earlier this month?

The Ascend West Virginia Program gives remote workers $12,000 for moving to the Mountain State and is working with the Charleston Roots Relocation Incentive Program.

“To share ideas. And so this is not a competition with them actually they are going to put our program on their website,” said Rubin.

Deedra Switzer is an example of what this program is trying to do. After attending college in Charleston and leaving, she knew the city had a place in her heart and came back.

“Young and looking for a place to thrive? Charleston is a really great area because you have access to community leaders, you can really build connections and continue to invest and many times you see those investments returned to you,” said Switzer.