How to Become a DRC
To become a Designated Retirement Community, or DRC, communities must meet a defined set of standards.  Once these standards are met, the local community can then become a DRC and join RetireWV, which offers the following benefits:
  • Access to the retiree prospect data base
  • Space on the RetireWV website
  • Communication with retirees through the toll-free telephone number
  • Special inclusion in statewide marketing efforts
  • The opportunity to network with other communities implementing retiree attraction programs

The process of attaining DRC status will take place over time; a manual has been developed to help you get started.  After reviewing this manual, communities can schedule an information workshop, conducted by RetireWV, to find out more about the history of retiree attraction in the state and the experiences of current DRCs during and after the application process. 

Following this workshop, community representatives will need to formulate a consensus on whether or not to proceed.  If the consensus is favorable, a mentor from RetireWV will be assigned and the process beings!

To become a DRC, each community will need to prepare an application package that will be reviewed by a representative group of existing Designated Retirement Communities (DRC).  RetireWV appreciates that applicant communities are unique, and may not all have the same strengths. 

For this reason, the organization has developed a point system to give each community the opportunity to emphasize their strengths.  Meeting the minimum point total is important so prospective retirees know that when a community in West Virginia is recognized as a Designated Retirement Community (DRC), it has met a minimum standard followed by all DRCs in the state.

Summary of Requirements for Attaining Designated Community Status
1.    Designate sponsor agency  ( 5 points)
  • Who is the agency
  • What is their commitment
  • Point of contact

2.    Conduct community organization meeting  (5 points)
  • When was meeting held
  • Who attended
  • Develop Goals, Objectives, Timeline

3.    Obtain letters of support  (10 points)
  • Resolution from governing body
  • Copies of letters must be included
  • Suggested organizations: local or regional tourism agency, Chamber of Commerce and/or Main Street program, hospital, higher education institution, economic development office, community development office, senior center, elected officials, health care facilities

4.    Establish and maintain a community-based administrative committee  (10 points)
  • List of committee members and affiliations
  • Suggested membership includes representatives from Chambers of Commerce, Elected Officials, Health Care, Banks and Financial Advisors, Media, Recreation & Leisure Services, Retirees, Volunteers, Real Estate, Utilities, Economic Development, Senior Programs, Hospitality Services, Transportation, Housing Authority, Main Street, Social Services, Churches
  • Plan for meetings post-application

5.    Establish sub-committees (Note: Some of these committee are relevant only to application period)  (5 points)
  • Suggested committees: Community Inventory/Assessment; Community Relations/Fundraising; Marketing and Promotion; Connectors/Ambassadors; Program Evaluation
  • List of committee members and affiliations
  • List of committee goals and activities

6.    Develop/create a community profile including statistical information (15 points)
  • Copy of profile must be included
  • Profile should contain information on transportation, shopping,, volunteer opportunities, utilities, taxes, cost of living, crime, hotels, restaurants, climate, employment, library, internet services, fitness centers

7.    Develop a marketing plan for attracting and retention of retirees    (20 points)
  • Copy of marketing plan must be included
  • Includes information on target markets (resident retirees, return migrants, amenity-seeking retirees)

8.    Develop a response packet for prospective retirees (15 points)
  • Include packet with application
  • Includes plan for dissemination of information

9.    Describe health care services in the designated community (20 points)
  • Includes in-patient and emergency services, EMS, primary care offices or clinics, home health services, medical specialists, dental services, pharmaceutical services, skilled nursing/long term care, urgent care, therapy services, assisted living

10.    Identify available housing in community (20 points)
  • Includes information on available rental property and buildable land
  • Includes information on available new and resale housing in multiple price ranges (single-family homes, condos, townhomes
  • Includes information on special housing for retirees

11.    Identify education opportunities available locally (10 points)
  • Name of closest higher education institution, distance from DRC, and presence in community
  • Types of education programs available to retirees (degree programs, informal education,  etc.)
  • Availability of programs located within designated community

12.    Identify cultural and recreational opportunities (10 points)
  • Description of opportunities
  • Types of education programs available to retirees ((Parks 'n Rec, cultural center, etc.)
  • Availability of programs located within designated community

A total of 135 points need to be attained by the applicant community in order to become a Designated Retirement Community (DRC).

While a Community Organization Manual has been assembled in an effort to provide guidance, it is the final responsibility of each local community to develop the retiree attraction program that is best suited for them.  RetireWV is available to assist local communities with any questions which may arise - as is often said, "the door is always open."

Get a copy of the Community Organization Manual by clicking here!