How relocation programmes work (part 1)

This year the Irish Department of Rural and Community Development launched an ambitious policy for rural Ireland and committed to looking into relocation programmes.

As we move towards a place where companies advertise jobs without any location, we have both risks and opportunities in how we attract jobs to our areas. Where once we would have to convince the employer to open a base in our community, we can no go directly to the person with the job.

It’s important to put relocation campaigns into context. The first one being that our communities host a wealth of talent who need access to these opportunities. Otherwise, we run the risk of pushing up house prices to a point where locals can’t buy, and that will erode our communities and culture.

Relocation programmes with criteria and community integration plans that operate in tandem with supports to ensure locals have access to remote work opportunities could have a transformational impact.

Ahead of our month long series with the experts delivering on relocation programmes across the world, we wanted to get a round up of what’s happening. We focus first on the locations aiming to have people move long term, as opposed to the nomad campaigns, which we’ll focus on in part two.

West Virginia – Relocation Programmes

Programme Funding: a $25 million philanthropic donation in partnership with the tourism board.

Financial Incentive: $12,000 paid over two years, with $10,000 divided in monthly payments for the first year and $2,000 paid at the end of the second year.

Lifestyle Incentive: With a year of free activities like whitewater rafting and downhill skiing as well as access to free outdoor gear rentals for you, your family and your friends.

Eligibility criteria: Selected applicants must be able to work remotely in the United States through a company located outside of the Mountain State.

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Programme Funding: The programme is funded by Natchez, Inc., a public-private partnership.

Financial Incentive: Natchez, Inc. will reimburse up to $2,500 of relocation expenses and will offer $300 per month for a 1-year period to assist with initial cost of living expenses.

Lifestyle Incentive: Historic Natchez offers a low cost of living with a high quality of living. From the arts, history, outdoor recreation, festivals, dining and entertainment; the Natchez region holds a place for all

Eligibility criteria:

  • Individual shall be employed
  • The remote worker will purchase a home with a minimum value of $150,000 and continue to work remotely for at least 1-year to receive the full benefit.

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Oklahoma  – Relocation Programmes  

Programme Funding: Funding is currently provided by George Kaiser Family Foundation. The City of Tulsa and other community organizations lend their support to ensure program participants are fully immersed and engaged in the community.

Financial Incentive: Tulsa Remote will grant $10,000.

Lifestyle Incentive: The group have welcomed 375 remote workers, meaning a vibrant community awaits, with events, free coworking and a supportive community. Here are some of the people who now call Tulsa home:

Eligibility Criteria: Full-Time Remote Employment or are Self-Employed Outside of Oklahoma

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Hawaii  – Relocation Programmes

Programme Funding: Philanthropic funding by CPB Foundation.

Financial Incentive: Movers & Shakas will pay for your flights to Hawaii.

Lifestyle Incentive: During their time here, they will partake in cultural education, mentor local start-ups, connect with the professional community, bond with their cohort, and give back to our islands through 15+ hours volunteering with non-profits.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Individuals who have full-time remote employment with a company outside of Hawaiʻi.
  • You must sign a pledge drawn up by locals to capture the views and hopes of how the youth of Hawaii would like visitors to experience and treat their island home.

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Alabama  – Relocation Programmes

Programme Funding: Unknown.

Financial Incentive: 10,000 – 25% up front to help with the costs of relocating, another 25% after your first 6 months in the Shoals, and the remaining 50% when you’ve completed your first year.

Lifestyle Incentive: They promote their low cost of living, welcoming community, and creative culture.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Minimum Annual Income of $52,000
  • Full-Time Remote Employment

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Georgia  – Relocation Programmes

Programme Funding: The programme is the government’s economic development department.

Financial Incentive: Remote workers who relocate will get a moving grant of $2,000.

Lifestyle Incentive: They sell themselves on their beautiful historic downtown, plus access to wonderful beaches and their reasonable real estate market.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Relocate to Chatham County with a minimum one-year lease or purchase property and live in the county for 30 days before applying
  • Must be employed by an employer outside of the state.

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