Sunday, July 5, 2009

West Virginia Boomerang

West Virginia is courting its expatriates:

“Come Home for the Reunion and Stay for a Lifetime” is in its second year, a campaign Gov. Joe Manchin suggested last year in his State of the State message to lure West Virginians to return to their native soil and start life anew.

In its first effort, the Department of Commerce targeted ex-West Virginians through a series of magazine ads in areas such as Cincinnati and Cleveland, letting them know about the advantages of life in the hills. ...

... “So we’re using a network of friends and families, knowing how strong family reunions and school reunions are in the state, particularly in the summer. We felt it was a natural fit to use reunions to help us promote the whole ‘Come Home to West Virginia’ campaign.”

Take note of the diaspora market of Cincinnati and Cleveland. Even when considering brain drain, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Talent is leaving West Virginia and heading to Rust Belt cities. But I'd bet the out-migration pattern isn't the only consideration. The article paints the initiative as well thought out and popular. It's worth tracking. I'll do some research and see if I can unearth a policy document.

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