As the cost of living rises in major cities and their economies continue to be crowded with young, ambitious entrepreneurs, more millennials will see rural life as an appealing alternative. They just have to know where to look.
That’s the theory posed by Rebecca Kimmons and Corey Zinn, two members of the community development group Create West Virginia. Since August, Kimmons and Zinn have been traveling throughout the state, recording the stories of people who migrated to West Virginia and have found success with their newfound business ventures.
“We wanted to tell the story of the West Virginia we know is here, but doesn’t necessarily get a lot of press,” Kimmons said. “We’ve seen a lot of people all over the state who do remarkable things and are tremendously engaged. And people are going to see their stories.”
The stories will be compiled into a 68-page publication called “The Maker’s Guide to Opportunity,” which launches in February. Roughly 35,000 copies will be distributed in seven major cities: Boston, Brooklyn, Chicago, Denver, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle, with the goal of attracting millennials and those ready to start fresh with a second career.
Kimmons estimates close to 100,000 people will lay their eyes on the publication, but she said the success rate won’t be perfect. It’s not supposed to be.
“We’re looking for people who are makers and have a drive to build community,” she said. “We don’t want 10 million people. We just want the percentage of people who understand what we’ve got here…”
Follow the author on Twitter @maxgarlandtypes