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Technology: Remote employment could aid West Virginia

When the world was turned upside down last winter, one of the immediate moves to stem the spread of COVID-19 was for employers to send their workers home, if they could. Suddenly many of us had to figure out how to work remotely. A host of technology companies were ready to hand us the tools to do so. In fact, some employers have found the arrangement suits their needs just as well or better than office life — and certainly cuts down on overhead.

Now, an idea out of Marion County is one that should be considered by every county in the state. There is a good chance some employers will not return to the traditional office model, and will instead allow more employees to work from anywhere. Even West Virginia.

Marion Remote is a project by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce to promote the area as the perfect spot for relocation, when a family is not tied to living within commuting distance of an employer.

“Nowhere in the entire eastern United States can compare to our area in West Virginia. Not only are we close to all the recreational opportunities, but we are in the center of all the other urban areas,” said Rocco Fucillo, chairman of the chamber’s Marion Remote Committee.

While lawmakers and contractors focus on getting the broadband internet access we need for ALL Mountain State residents, now is the perfect time to revisit the other ideas for retaining and attracting young families to Almost Heaven.

“I would say this is definitely one of the most important projects for the Chamber in 2021, and frankly, probably for the entire county and communities that we serve,” said Marion Chamber Board Chair Jonathan Board. “This has the opportunity to change for the better this entire region, and puts us on the very front edge of a new and emerging marketplace, so we are very excited about that.”

It’s a good idea, and he should be excited. Now officials across the state should follow Marion County’s lead.

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