German Village area. Just up the street from here is the first "White Castle" hamburger
restaurant that you see driving into the downtown of Columbus.
At the time these photos were taken the manager of the store told the photographer that
he was twenty eight years of age and earned
around $50K annually at this KFC.
He mentioned that he had high school juniors &
seniors who could earn nearly $40K per year.
They were set up with driver accounts to record their tips, save their gas purchase receipts etc
file quarterly income tax statements. They used their own cars, bought their own insurance which was an increased liability that
the company required. They average $6 to $8
an hour in tips plus the $12 dollar hourly wage.
This Pizza Hut location is near the I 70
J C Penney's Outlet Store. Their drivers
have earnings similar to the KFC. It was
a shock to learn that in Columbus so many
fast food chains deliver. McDonalds delivers
in these larger markets if a certain amount is
purchased. It used to be a $10 minimum.
A McDonalds near Sawmill Rd in north Columbus
was said to be paying over $15 dollars an hour
during this time. I would like to have photos to post
which show such wages just to confirm this. If you
are in Columbus and can email a photo, It would be
Pizza is about all that is delivered in the Huntington,
Ashland, Ironton area. This is a distinct difference
for young people who want to work in the town where
they are growing up.
This photo was taken near the Pizza Hut
restaurant. It is shocking to see gasoline
prices so low now days, but remember back four and a half years ago when gas
prices in Huntington were around a dollar
Many people wonder why we are gouged so in Huntington when the refinery is in our back yard almost. Other areas don't
seem to have this problem. Could it have
to do with competition?
When you live in a area like Columbus, Ohio, or Charlotte, NC, or Atlanta, Ga, it
is necessary to live out where the cost of
living is less and commute into where the
higher paying jobs are. The lower fuel cost make it reasonable to live this way.
These photos were taken near Atlanta, Ga in the town of Buford, Ga. Sept. 2001. Although the hourly wages weren't posted they were over $17 per hour. The
problem for these shops is just getting people to work there as other jobs which pay much more are
available. The sign on bonus is a way to get people
to work at least for a short term. The situation there is the opposite of the tri state region. Too many jobs and too few people.
So often people in the tri state will say, "Sure they
pay more but look at the cost of living !" Certainly
a person can expect to incur some expenses when they move to another place, but if you can earn enough to afford those costs and get ahead too then
it is to your benefit. It takes time to adjust to new
localities and you may move around once there to
find better work and better neighborhoods. Many people have done it. Look at how many have left here!
This photo was taken in Norcross, Ga. It is
on the Jimmy Carter Blvd and was during
September 2001. At the same time the cost
of Gasoline at similar Chevron stations in the
tri state was nearly $1.60 per gallon. The
interstates such as I 75 are 12 lanes wide and are smooth well maintained super high
ways. People tend to keep newer cars to
afford dependability for driving to work and back on these highways, but with the pay
in such areas as these it is easy to live this
The photographer who took these photos
wore a Marshall University Tee shirt and
met many people from the tri state as he
walked around and visited the stores.
In truth and fairness, not everyone is wanting or willing to leave the tri state to find work. Columbus, Ohio is about 150 miles
from the tri state, and Charlotte, NC is about twice that far. It is said that there are more jobs around Charlotte, NC than anywhere else and it isn't as far away as Atlanta, Ga. I personaly have traveled thru these areas and have seen many of these same sights. I wanted to put these photos online to help the fellow who owns them, and help better share them with many of the people who live in the tri state and think it's the same way everywhere else you go. There are some places there which
may pay wages similar to the tri state area, but it doesn't mean you have to settle for them.
This is just a start at doing something which needs to be done for those who live here in this region. If you are now living away from the tri state and have photos you've taken there which show the wages that are offfered, please email them to
I would like to display them in this website for people of the tri state to see. If you have the means to take photos like the ones above please look around where you now live and snap a shot for those for us still in the tri state. I have met people who think no employer anywhere pays more than minimum wage, and to that I say seeing is believing. Many young people join
the military and come back telling their friends of the things they see in their travels. Some people know traveling workers or
salespeople who tell of the rich life away from here and pass the word around at July 4 picnics or family reunions. I've chatted
with people online in various cities and message boards as to the prevailing wages and work supply in their localities. Some
have indicated that they were from this general region and are better off now since having left.
Thanks for taking the time to look at this, and to those of you who have moved away and are doing much better now, please email us some photos from your area which show hourly wages like those above. I'll be more than happy to post them with your email letter. I would only like to ask that you mention the date you took it and the location where the photo was taken.
If you have pictures of your old home here and the home where you live now, tell us the difference in cost if you could please.
I've spoken to people who were able to buy much finer homes elsewhere with the money they made from their home sale in the tri state.
I don't know of a project that has been undertaken quite like this in the tri state. Remember, if you like it here it is your right to stay, but please don't nay say leaving in order to better oneself to those who are considering it. It is true you may loose a
friend who you are used to seeing every day but that's life isn't it?
Please give us a hand by sending in some photos from your new area which show advertised wages. Thanks!
DJS / Theolpaperboy
Is it worth leaving the Tri State area ?
Many people who live in the Tri State area do not have the means to travel and see how well the rest of the world lives. The idea
behind this web site is to provide these people with some useful information to help them overcome their fears and uncertainties.
Thanks to B. C. in NC for sending this link to the USAToday Census 2000 map. Click on each state to see the facts
and figures that are published by the Govt. Census. You can check them against West Virginia if you like.
Glad to see someone undertake this job. I pulled this up for some people who asked how the job market was here when I was last in WV on Memorial day. It will
I used to bring a trunk full of these free "Employment News" news papers back from Columbus, Ohio each time I traveled thru there and give to people around the tri state area. They were in boxes on the street corners,
grocery stores everywhere, public places where ever
people would be. I don't know if they are still publishing them or not or if they are online either. I've heard that they have them in Cleveland, and elsewhere in Ohio. If you are passing thru and stop in a Kroger, Big Bear,
Meijers, public library etc you ought to see if you can get
some of these to bring back to this area like I did. They
seriously need workers in Columbus, Ohio. EJS Ona, WV
Columbus, Ohio is in Franklin County by the way.
Hey, If you want to see where
West Virginians are going to
look at this map and it will tell
you. Some people are moving
into WV but not like they are
leaving. Here's a map that
you can click each county to
see for yourself. RJ Ceredo
Top 10 places We move to for work. Source: 4/29/02 Herald Dispatch
"Border counties syphon residents"
1. Franklin County Ohio (Columbus)
2. Mecklenburg County NC. (Charlotte)
3 Lawrence County Ohio (across river from Huntington, WV)
4. Belmont County Ohio (across river from Parkersburg, WV)
5. Horry County SC. (Myrtle Beach)
6. Allegheny County PA. (Pittsburgh)
7. Iredell County NC. (Statesville)
8. Tazewell County VA. (Va Bordering Bluefield, WV)
*Source: Current Population Survey Published Data, Bureau of the Census, December 2000
What does the term " Opportunity Cost " mean ? I hear it used a lot in terms of employment these days.
Opportunity Cost is a term businesses use frequently and it should be understood by everyone living in today's economy.
Anytime an opportunity arises there will be cost associated with it whether you choose to take the opportunity or forego it.
As an example in the chart above you can see that a High School grad could expect to make $ 27,160 a year in areas away from here. A High School grad living here in the Tri State working for $ 5.50 an hour will make $ 11,440 a year.
If this person would take the opportunity to relocate for better wages, he may expect to make around $ 27,160 a year which is $15,720 dollars a year more. It will cost something to move away and take time to become familiar with a new area, and housing may be more expensive too, but with the additional income a person could overcome these obstacles
and adjust to the new life. If the same person stayed here, he wouldn't have the moving cost or inconvienience, but
he would in effect be paying $ 15,720 a year for staying in the Tri State where he or she grew up with friends and family. That is the annual cost of not taking the opportunity to relocate for better income. The "Opportunity Cost" of this example.
In all fairness, the Tri State is a beautiful place and rather safe from the elements. Some wish to stay here their whole life
and that is their privilege. It is great for retired people with good pensions, or kids whose way is provided for them. It
is not the mission of those creating this web site to belittle their choice, but rather to help those who find it near impossible
to obtain the employment benefits and income necessary to live here with some level of dignity and security for their family.
Adam Smith is recognized as being the father of modern economics. In his book published in 1776, titled "The Wealth Of Nations" he described free market enterprise which we use today. Smith became famous for making the observation that it was the choices that people make which made them wealthy or poor. Smith was a very charitable man yet he claimed that the free market would be superior to any efforts
by Government for social good, or welfare of its underprivileged people.
The Tri State area has had four decades of Govt.
programs and look at it now. Look at how the
cities on the list are attracting our people. These cities have good healthy free market economies.
There is much discussion about the "Right to Work Law". The listing below explains which states are "RWL" states.
Right-to-work states are: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas,
Utah, Virginia and Wyoming. In 2000, the annual average pay in free states was $35,169, compared with $29,233 in right-to-work states, a 20 percent difference. Right-to-work states have lower "union density" (the percentage of workers who belong to unions) 7.5 percent, compared with 16 percent in free states. However, finding work in RWL states seems easier.
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Average Annual Pay by State and Industry, 2000, news release, Sept. 11, 2001. Prepared by the AFL-CIO.
If you are out of work and despirately need a job, it may be a good strategy to go work in a RWL state where jobs are easier to find. It will help you financially in the short term and you may gain "on the job" training to find a better paying job later.
Former North Carolina Senator Jessie Healms is supporting efforts to help Web Casting in order to help Christian broadcasters.
I was just on your website and saw where you wanted pictures of peoples old house when living in WV and their new house where they moved to.
I thought I would help you out with that. Actually, I hope it will help you out a lot. The attachments I have included are HouseBefore (which is my house in WV before I moved) and HouseAfter (which is currently under construction - a new house!).
Anyway, here are some stats on each.
- 1100 SQ FT
- Paid $73,000
- Sold for $75,000 4 years ago (bad resale value)
- 3 bedrooms
- 1.5 baths
- Carport (no garage)
- 60X120 lot
- Crawl space in lieu of basement
- 8 ft of space between my house and neighbors
OH new house
- 1600 SQ FT of living space, an additional 1000 counting basement (which can be finished) and garage.
- Paid $184,000
- 3 bedrooms
- 2.5 baths (includes deluxe master bath)
- 2 car garage
- Large lot (not sure of exact size, approx 120 X 200)
- FULL unfinished basement
- 20+ ft of space between houses
- 11X12 den downstairs
- Large family room with fireplace
- Fully sodded lot with professional landscaping
- Brinks security system
- Level 2 berber carpet
- Subdivision will have a pool and a new elementary school built
My salary has gone from $36,000 in WV to $54,000 in Columbus in 9 months after moving here. According to Homefairs salary calculator, it costs a about 9% more to live in Columbus than in Charleston, WV. In some ways, I beg to differ on that. Here's why...
I don't pay yearly property tax on my vehicles,
I don't pay taxes on food when I go to the grocery store,
My car insurance is cheaper here,
I don't pay state inspection every year on my cars,
There is so much competition among grocery stores, there sales are ridicilous. For example a 12 pack of Coke sold for $1.38 one week. A 24 pack of Mountain Dew sold for $2.96. Bread sold for a quarter. The list goes on and on. And since I'm not paying food tax, the saving add up.
The only thing that costs more is real estate. That's where the 9% increase comes in, I think. With the savings elsewhere and the price increase in real estate of about 25%, it probably does equate to about 9%.
Anyway, just thought I would give you some information that I have come across in the past year since I took the plunge and fleed the state of West Virginia.
Ps. I was listening to the radio on the way to work the other day where Columbus leaders have offered any big business that relocates here an incentive where half of their payroll taxes will be paid for by the city for 5 years. Why can't Charleston or Huntington do that? Too expensive, maybe? Think about the money they would MAKE.
Thanks for your letter, AK It is most appreciated !
Montani Semper Liberi ... Mountaineers Are Always Free.
These words adorn the state flag and state seal of the Great State of West Virginia.
Yes, that state that continually comes in last in every statistic kept by the federal government. We're last (or next to last) in just about every failing of humankind ... obesity, tobacco use, high school graduation rate, and teen pregnancy. You name it; we're number one or number fifty, depending upon your perspective.
West Virginia is one of the poorest states in America. Our median income wouldn't buy a cheeseburger, fries, and a coke in New York City.
Our elected politicians are, by and large, good ole boys. We're the butts of many a joke around the country. The largest employer in the state IS the state. The largest single city in West Virginia barely has 50,000 people.
We're mostly known for coal mining, yet the lion's share of dollars from mining leaves the state, and ends up in the hands of the land barons living elsewhere.
No United States Presidents were born in West Virginia. I don't even believe any Vice Presidents were born here; but we are the home of Senator Robert C. Byrd.
West Virginia doesn't have a professional sports team. We're not big enough.
We don't have any major TV markets that would be attractive to any owners.
We don't have any national monuments ... no Grand Canyon, or Mount Rushmore, or even a Disney World; no NASCAR tracks (yet), no Great Lakes, no international airports, no Opryland, no sky needles, no eight lane highways, no beaches, no Ivy League colleges. We don't have any skyscrapers, or world famous vacation spots, or motion picture studios, or amber waves of grain; no subways, no Emmy Awards, no Mardi Gras, and no Rose Bowl Parade.
With all of the things West Virginia doesn't have, why would anyone bother living here, you ask?
Well ...West Virginia has some things that a person doesn't realize they wanted until they were here.
West Virginia has mountains. The Appalachian Mountains extend from New York to Georgia, but in no state are they more majestic, or part of the renown, than in West Virginia. The highest point in West Virginia is Spruce Knob, one mile above sea level. Yes, there are higher points in America, but none more beautiful.
Randolph County, West Virginia - Chris McCauley
Because of our mountains, we have rivers. The oldest river in the Western Hemisphere, the New River (quite appropriately named, don't you think) ends in West Virginia. We have the Gauley River, which confluences with the New River in a magnificent cascade to form the Kanawha River, which in turn flows through the center of the state, and directly through the capital city of Charleston, the largest city in West Virginia. These rivers in addition to the Cheat, Blackwater, Tygart, Monongahela, and countless others offer tremendous recreational opportunities.
Randolph County, West Virginia - Chris McCauley
The tallest building in Charleston is barely 25 floors tall, which, if you think about it, is a plus; how could you possibly build a skyscraper more beautiful than a mountain? The capital city stretches throughout the long river valley, encompassing both hill and dale. The Charleston airport, the largest in the state, sits on top of a mountain. The crime rate in Charleston, including the entire population of the Kanawha Valley (around 200,000), reflects that of the entire state ... the lowest in America. No more than a handful of murders are committed each year. Charleston has no subway systems, but, truth be known, you can get from one end of town to the other, even in rush hour traffic, in less than ten minutes. There are three
major interstate systems going through Charleston, the smallest city in America to make such a claim. The entire state has six different interstate systems, meaning, from Charleston, you can reach Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville or Charlotte in four hours or less.
Ah, but, once you leave the interstates, the drive becomes a thing of wonder. Two lane roads, winding up and down the mountains, offer amazing views and historic places ... small towns, poor in wealth but rich in history. West Virginia is the birthplace of Mother's Day, in Grafton; and Father's Day, in Fairmont. We have the oldest covered bridge still in use. We have walnut festivals and strawberry festivals and apple festivals and pumpkin festivals and buckwheat festivals, and arts and crafts fairs and stern wheel regattas and ramp dinners. We have Bridge Day, on the New River Gorge bridge over 800 feet above the New River; the only standing structure in the United States that, one day a year, allows parachuting and bungee jumping. Randolph County, West Virginia - Chris McCauley
We have college basketball, and minor league baseball and hockey, and, just like all of America, Friday night high school football. We have white water rafting, and skiing, and hiking, and caves, and waterfalls, and camping in every direction. We have Sundays where a leisurely drive in the car can take eight hours, and only cover 100 miles. We have bed and breakfasts, and resorts, and golf courses, and museums, and the Greenbrier Hotel. West
Virginia has more natural beauty and wonder than any person could ever imagine.
We have all of this, and yet ... our greatest asset is our people. West Virginians are good people. We care about each other. We talk to our neighbors over the backyard fence. We grow tomatoes for the entire neighborhood. We turn around in each other's driveways, and yell "howdy" when we do. We sit on the porch on warm summer evenings, listening to crickets, and watching kids catch fireflies. We loan a hammer, or a cup of sugar. We don't take two-hour lunches, but we do spend a few minutes each day with a cup of coffee, and our feet up on our desk, shooting the breeze. We rarely get in a hurry. We have relatives just down the street. We don't just loan someone a socket wrench, we help them fix their car. We share recipes, and gardening tips, and our last cup of coffee. We baby sit each other's kids,
we house sit for each other's dogs while we're on vacation, and we loan each other our cars if we have to get to the drug store. We ask each other if we need anything as we're going to the market. We celebrate each other's accomplishments, and we cry over each other's disappointments.
We are a friendly folk. We are West Virginians. Mountaineers are always free. Free to take the time to enjoy life, and hold each moment in our hearts, forever.
If you are proud to be a West Virginian, then pass this on. If you are ashamed to be a native West Virginia, then shame on you!
Author Unknown - but due to the heavy dependence on southern WV locations in
the original version, guessed to be from southern WV (some northern WV
references have been added). God Bless You.
We recieved this email letter from an old friend JPS, who now resides in Atlanta, Ga. A former West Virginian who found a more prosperous life elsewhere. "PROUD TO BE A WEST VIRGINIAN" is it's title.
I believe this letter may have appeared in some newspapers originally and those who have seen it liked it so much they began to email it to friends and family who had moved away. No one can help where we were born or the circumstances they were born into, but we can help ourselves once we are on our own. Leaving West Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southern Ohio is almost the only choice today if one wants to find real opportunities.
In all West Virginia isn't such a bad place to say you are from. Employers in other states are willing to offer
us a chance as they too understand the situation by having come to know so many people from here.
More than anything else about us is the positive impression we have made in their workplaces, as it has
positioned us as being "valuable people". We may not be as "modern day" as some other people but we still possess those old time qualities that are so rare elsewhere.
What about those of us Gen X people 1966-1975 and Gen Y people 1977-1995 Where are we moving off to ?
1) Orlando, Florida Median age 33.3 years 16.6% X'ers
2) Las Vegas, Nevada Median age 34.4 years 16.2 %
3) San Fransisco, Ca. Median 36.5 years 23.2% X'ers
4) Denver, Colorado Median 33.1 years 20.5% X'ers
5) Charlotte, NC. Median 33.1 years 18.7% X'ers
6) Fort Lauderdale, Fl. Median age 37.8 14.2% X'ers
7) Raleigh, NC. Median age 32.9 years 18.1% X'ers
8) Phoenix, Az. Median age 33.0 years 15.9% X'ers
9) Portland, Or. Median age 34.9 years 17.5% X'ers
10) Atlanta, Ga. Median age 32.7 years 18.6 % X' ers
Above are the top ten cities in the USA for the Gen X people. The Gen Y kids who were born after 1977 may be in college,
tech school, or still in High School. Those between born between 1977 and 1981 who have entered the work force may find the Cities above attractive just the same. Gen Y kids were the first to grow up with computer technology in school
and no doubt find themselves in demand where ever larger corporations are. Now that there is a move in Congress to
have Rural High Speed Internet many may find wireless ISP's making web based businesses within their reach from
less expensive country community settings. This will be a trend to watch for in upcoming years.
Those who track trends suggest that the migration of Gen X & Y people will be to areas where they can be among their own age group with entertainment and jobs to their liking. If you are still living in the tri state it is as much a necessity as
a choice. Many of the curriculums offered by schools now will require relocation on graduation in order to find placement.
According to the 2000 Census our area is loosing young people and attracting old ones. In 1990 West Virgina had 135,509
people between the ages of 18 and 32. 18,000 people of this sample left the state by the 2000 Census. During the Ninties
Columbus, Ohio, Charlotte, NC, and Pittsburgh, Pa were popular Cities for these people to relocate to.
The thinking of many of these young people is to get out of this area but be within a days drive to home should their older
family need their help. This makes Cities like Columbus, Charlotte, Lexington, Cincinnati, and Pittsburgh appealing as
there is work, a good economic clymate, sports, outdoor attractions, better standard of living, in some cases geographic
features such as beaches, mountains, tourist attractions.(in short...something to do)
Unfortunately many who move away to an accelerated economy try to move back to this area years later. They are shocked to realized that it has grown worse here in past years. Many leave with the attitude that they will move back for
retirement, only to realize they are better served to retire elsewhere as well. The conditions here only spiral downward.
If you add all the states from Ohio to Virgin Islands it adds to 30,575 nearly half of the known alumni population of MU
In this same issue of Herald-Dispatch, less than half of the 157 Senior Med School students from the three State Med Schools will stay for post grad training. WVU 27 of 68 will stay for residencies, MU 19 or 41, WV School of Osteopathic Medicine 22 or 48. This may lead to importing more foreign medical professionals to serve those who stay in the state.
Letter in the March 30 Herald Dispatch In March 2004 Abercrombie & Fitch sold T shirts many found offensive to WV
T-shirt not to blame for state's bad image
I have lived and worked in Ohio and Florida for the 12 years since I left West Virginia.
I take my share of ribbing when I proclaim my home state to be West Virginia. But, more importantly, there are no lack of employers outside of your state who know West Virginians to be a well-educated people with a great work ethic, and they take advantage of that by offering us the jobs we can't find back home.
Rather than spending time on serious economic development issues, the state's leaders chose instead to blame a clothing retailer for the state's problems. That's unfortunate, but par for the course.
The people of West Virginia are not betrayed by a stereotype; they are betrayed by decades of sorry leadership, plain and simple.
The Digital Underground Railroad
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