Out of Region Commuters………………what does that even mean?
Do you know someone who lives the the MOV yet commutes over an hour a day to work? I do.
Those that I know work predominately in the oil and gas sector and often drive to Pittsburgh, Zanesville, Cleveland to do so. A recent study by APEG JobsOhio illustrated that in our county roughly 9-14% of workers commute out of the region to other places of business. You don’t see West Virginia pictured here, but I can assure you that we have a number of persons who are living here that go work on pipelines or in various other capacities in eastern WV.
Growing up I heard lots about those people who lived in Fairmont, WV and commuted into DC by train. That sounded asinine to me when I was younger. Knowing know the price of homes in the DMV, and District and also the density struggles, for the worker who can work 4-10’s, it kind of makes financial sense. My last year living in Raleigh I lived just on the border of Raleigh and Cary, a minuscule 6.2 miles from my office. For those who know city traffic, even light Raleigh traffic, know that 6.2 miles can be an hour plus in rush hour.
Why does this matter? We have persons leaving our community to work in other cities and towns that are quite a bit away. They like/love this place enough to make a home here, but the job opportunity simply isn’t here yet. If we can be strategic in development, intentional in recruitment, and effective in marketing and communication those outflow workers could be the tide that helps float the boat of restaurant and retail services in our towns for years to come.
It is a twist on the adage, if you build it they will come. For many counties in our region, it reads…………
If you build it, they will stay.