Digital nomads, listen up. If you find yourself dreaming of
sitting alongside a cool mountain stream with your laptop while you leisurely
wrap up your next project, Vermont would like to talk to you.
The funds can be used to cover
moving expenses as well as living and working expenses such as computer
equipment, broadband service and co-working space membership.
Why the push to entice new workers? Vermont’s population is aging
and declining in numbers. Vermont’s median age
rose to 42.8 in 2015, says the Census Bureau, making it second
only to Maine in average age of its residents. That’s bad news for the state’s
financial coffers as fewer jobs mean less tax revenue.
A second program is aimed at turning some of
Vermont’s 13 million annual visitors into full-time residents. Over two upcoming weekends - Aug. 10-13 and
Oct.19-22 - the Stay-to-Stay Initiative will connect
visitors interested in becoming Vermont residents with local employers,
entrepreneurs, community leaders and potential neighbors during their weekend
Vermont governor Phil Scott recently commented on the program:
“We have about 16,000 fewer workers than we did
in 2009. That’s why expanding our workforce is one of the top
priorities of my administration,” said Gov. Scott. “We must think outside the
box to help more Vermonters enter the labor force and attract more working
families and young professionals to Vermont.”
Vermont’s strategy taps into a rapidly growing
mobile remote workforce. In the US alone, nearly a third of workers in a recent Gallup poll
said they work remotely virtually full time. That’s nearly 4 million workers, up 115 percent since 2005, according to
another report. And contrary to some
common assumptions, those remote workers had the highest rates of engagement
with their colleagues and organization, Gallup says. At an average age of 46, remote workers represent an ideal target to support Vermont’s long-term
population growth strategy.
Related: Beyond Remote Work: Harnessing the Digital Nomad
If a move to Vermont piques your interest, don’t delay. The
program will begin accepting applications 1 January 2019 on a first-come basis.
The state has earmarked $125,000 in grants for next year and funding will peak
at $250,000 in 2020.