CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Working from home has become commonplace for many industries after the COVID-19 pandemic. A work-from-home research study indicated that as many as 12.7% of full-time employees are working entirely from home, and another 28.2% responded that they work both online and on-site.
A study from WalletHub ranked each state, and the District of Columbia, by how good they are for at-home workers, based on things like internet speeds and the number of viable work-from-home jobs playing a factor in the final ranking.
Delaware ranked number one overall and Washington D.C. had the highest share of the population working from home. Alaska ranked dead last and West Virginia ranked 42nd.
West Virginia’s poorer-than-average internet access has been on the mind of state officials for some time. Last year Gov. Justice announced that over $20 million was approved for the use of improving the state’s broadband access which is severely underdeveloped, as many West Virginia school districts fall well behind the FCC’s minimum speed goal of 1 Mbps per student.
In October of last year, Cabell County Schools had the slowest speeds in the entire state, with just 0.24 Mbps per student.
Despite the state’s apparent work-from-home shortcomings, the Ascend West Virginia program has already attracted over 20,000 applicants to work from home in West Virginia. Ascend WV is an incentive program to get more remote workers to move to the state. If accepted, Ascend WV pays workers a total of $12,000 to move to West Virginia in addition to providing them free outdoor recreation, coworking space and social programming after the move with the goal of bringing tourism and economic development to the state.
Participating areas in the Ascend WV program are Greenbrier Valley, the Morgantown area, the Eastern Panhandle, and Greater Elkins