Would you ever think about moving to
Vermont? What if someone reimbursed you $10,000? Well, it is precisely the
arrangement drawn up in Vermont’s Remote Worker Grant Program. It is an effort
to get working professionals to leave their homes and move to Vermont, to
increase the small state’s portion of educated, young, working residents.
Why Does Vermont Want Remote Workers?
It is more possible to work from home today
than at any time in history. The Internet allows people to have viable careers
at well-known companies without ever setting foot at headquarters. Many people
prefer the peace and flexibility that this career lifestyle affords. It is an
arrangement that does tend to make remote workers more than a little bit
untethered from their place of residence.
The logic is that if you are a remote worker
and can work anywhere, you might as well live in Vermont as part of the
program. Vermont only has about 625,000 residents. Recent statistics showed
that Vermont is losing its residents. The decline is slow, at only about 0.12%
per year. However, any reduction in size makes it very difficult for the state
to improve its station. It can be tough for regions as progressively-minded as
Bernie Sanders’ Burlington (see Propy’s technology
in South Burlington). If Vermont can get a large number of remote workers to become
residents, the movement can help to turn the tide.
How Does the Remote Worker Grant Program Work?
Basically, if you are a remote worker who
becomes an official resident of Vermont, the state will give you $5,000 two
times: once in your first year of residence and once in your second year. To
qualify, you must be employed remotely full-time and work from home or
coworking space in Vermont (see other Remote Worker Grant
Some other terms apply, but that is the gist
of this rewarding program. Vermont will not be the first U.S. state to offer
financial incentives to new potential residents, but it may be the first state
to target the remote worker segment so aggressively. Hopefully, the strategy