Find out what's drawing people to this stunning and bustling region of West Virginia.
The Mountain State is calling! It’s easy to see why Advantage Valley is attractive to residents and businesses, with quality-of-life assets like the four distinct seasons and the Appalachian Mountains. Here are other reasons why many more people choose Advantage Valley to live, work and play.
1. Enjoy a Comfortable Cost of Living
A key contributor to Advantage Valley’s quality of life is its attractive cost of living, even in the region’s largest cities of Charleston and Huntington. Charleston has a cost-of-living index of 78.5, and Huntington is at 73.6, with both towns much less expensive than the U.S. average of 100. In addition, Charleston and Huntington each have affordable housing, with the median price for homes in Charleston at $151,330 and in Huntington at $102,175 (Zillow, July 2022). When it comes to housing, the area’s outside counties also boast amenities like more room for your money.
2. Work in a Diverse Economy
Advantage Valley has a diverse economy and is actively seeking to attract more companies, especially in the sectors of aerospace/aviation, automotive parts, polymers/chemicals, metal fabrication, food and beverage production, technology and office services. The region is also strong in solar and other alternative energies, and manufacturing remains a key economic sector that continues to attract more companies. By the way, more than 260,000 trained workers inhabit the labor shed.
3. Visit Dynamic Downtowns & Robust Riverfronts
Advantage Valley’s arts and culture scene is found in many of the downtown districts. Historic architecture, modern shops, restaurants and performing arts centers make room for today’s creatives who keep Appalachian culture alive. Meanwhile, riverfront communities are also drawing businesses and families to the region, including Mason County, Cabell County and Kanawha County, which all have beautiful, expansive riverfront parks perfect for family-friendly outings, community festivals and other events, and much more.
4. Have Fun in the Outdoors
There are ample ways to stay fit and active in Advantage Valley, with outdoor lovers having access to natural amenities like the Appalachian Mountains, lakes, rivers, Kanawha State Forest, Elk River Rail and Water Trails, and the nationally ranked Hatfield-McCoy Trails. Activities can range from hiking and biking to kayaking and pickleball, with local parks, new courts, trails and rivers just a short commute from your home or office.
5. Go to College for Free
Advantage Valley has a nationally recognized K-12 education system. Additionally, any graduating high school student can have their entire tuition paid in full if they attend one of the region’s community and technical colleges. Students’ tuition will be paid at BridgeValley Community & Technical College in South Charleston, and Mountwest Community & Technical College in Huntington as part of this state-funded West Virginia Invests grant program.
If you’d like to learn more about the Advantage Valley region, check out the latest edition of Livability: Advantage Valley, West Virginia.