Vermont is looking for more workers and willing to pay.
New Green Mountain state residents can get up to $ 7,500 for jobs in low-staffing industries such as childcare, construction, or restaurants.
It’s a cute business for those looking to move to the most environmentally friendly state in the country.
Cities and states that seek to empower local populations have been using monetary incentives and other promotions to attract workers for some time. Most of these programs are in rural states and cities that have seen net population losses for years.
Rural areas in the US are experiencing slower population growth than cities, and with so many people now able to work from anywhere, it’s theoretically easier to attract high-income earners to support the local economy.
Interest in escaping the crowded cities to a more rural setting increased with the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes these relocation incentive programs particularly interesting.
Earlier this spring, an incentive offering teleworkers up to $ 12,000 to move to Morgantown, West Virginia, caused so much buzz that 7,500 people applied for just 53 spots. That’s an acceptance rate of 0.7%, which is many times more competitive than the most selective colleges in the country.
West Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced last week that all 7,500 applicants will receive $ 2,500 from Rocket Mortgage to cover mortgage costs if they decide to move into the state on their own and get a home to buy.
The struggle to find workers is a problem across the country. Job vacancies are at record levels, and employers across the country say they have had a tough time filling vacancies, even though unemployment is still higher than it was in pre-pandemic times.
Restaurants and other low-wage service occupations are experiencing particularly severe labor shortages, and large retailers like CVS, Walgreens, and Costco have raised salaries to attract and retain employees.
Even before the state’s new incentive program was launched, Vermont had seen an influx of city dwellers during the pandemic.
“No regrets,” newcomer and former Boston resident Matt Plouffe told NBC in Burlington in March. “I definitely breathe better – that’s for sure.”
There was also some tension. A Vermont city employee came under fire for putting a derogatory message to newcomers on the cover of an annual city report.
“You came here from there because you didn’t like it there, and now you want to change here to be like there,” the message reads. “If you want it to be the way it is there, you shouldn’t have left there to come here, and you are invited to go here and return there as soon as possible.”
The clerk later apologized.
The new Vermont worker relocation grants will reimburse up to $ 7,500 in expenses – such as moving expenses, rental deposits, and the first month of rent – for those who moved to the state after July 1, 2021.
To qualify, fellows must find full-time Vermont positions as cashier, bartender, housekeeper, cashier, manual worker, landscaper, carpenter, farmer, or in dozens of other positions most needed in the state. Everyone must be paid at least $ 13.39 an hour, which is considered a living wage in Vermont.
Applications are now possible here and will be accepted on a first-come-first-served basis. And the incentives for moving to Vermont aren’t limited to those taking on sought-after jobs.
A new round of grants for remote worker relocation will also be offered in the state next year. The grants will reimburse workers moving to Vermont on or after February 1, 2022, up to $ 7,500 in moving expenses. Previous versions of the program, which started in 2018, gave more than 300 grants worth up to $ 10,000 to workers who have relocated to the state.
If Vermont doesn’t interest you, it may be worth considering relocation incentive programs in other parts of the country.
Tulsa, Oklahoma, Savannah, Georgia, and Topeka, Kansas are among the other places that offer cash for new residents. And West Virginia is now accepting applicants for another round of its $ 12,000 incentive program, this one for new Lewisburg residents.
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