State of West Virginia


cop-side-west-virginiaThe late John Denver described West Virginia as “almost heaven” in his 1971 breakout hit “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” And West Virginians have embraced the song enthusiastically — it has been performed in pre-game activities at every home West Virginia University football game since 1972 and now is an official state song. The mentions of the Shenandoah River and the Blue Ridge Mountains are emblematic of a state noted for its mountains and rolling hills. Those resources play a significant historical role in West Virginia’s logging and coal mining industries. But like much of Appalachia, the Mountaineer State is beset with problems, serious problems. It is ranked at or near the bottom of the U.S. in many significant indicators regarding education, health and business. Its economy has been stagnant for decades as entrepreneurship and high-tech and STEM jobs have simply been absent from the marketplace. West Virginia legislators began the statewide Promise Scholarship in hopes of bolstering educational attainment and moving quality-of-life indicators in a new direction.

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