Initially established in 2018, Tulsa Remote has expanded the city's approach to building a dedicated workforce community. As an incentive program, Tulsa Remote offers $10,000 in cash and other attractive perks to eligible remote workers who are willing to relocate to the city of Tulsa. The program has achieved great success during the ongoing pandemic, enticing nearly 1,400 new members to plant their roots locally.

COVID-19 is Propelling the Growth of Remote Workers

The growth of remote work provides many new opportunities for members of different communities nationwide to rethink their opportunities. Modern businesses are opening their vacant positions to a national audience, increasing wages and career options – no matter the skills needed for the job. As you might imagine, being receptive to obtaining remote workers has allowed businesses to take advantage of top talent nationwide.

Like other communities in the Heartland, Tulsa has had its fair share of economic challenges throughout the pandemic. This includes slowing population growth and a lack of educated and skilled workers for many prominent positions in the tech industries or other high-wage industries. Tulsa Remote has responded to these unique challenges by bringing these workers to Tulsa while simultaneously diversifying the local workforce before a relevant job exists locally.

Researchers have deduced that the first program initiative could generate millions of dollars in local earnings and facilitate the growth of hundreds of new jobs locally. This perfect storm and the need for remote work and the incentives provided by Tulsa Remote can help provide even standing for smaller metropolitan areas to compete with the national competition in the upcoming years.

What Impact Has Tulsa Remote Had Locally?

Several distinct factors make Tulsa Remote unique among similar programs. The program has a sponsorship through a local foundation and promises improved quality of life – mainly because Tulsa is known as a "Big Little City." This means that remote workers can expect the same infrastructure and opportunities available in larger cities without the congestion they often have.

At the start of 2021, the actual impact that Tulsa Remote has had on the local economy has started to become apparent. First, the city added roughly $62 million in local earnings in 2021 alone. $51.3 million can be traced directly to relocated remote workers, while $10.7 million was contributed to the local employment boost. When broken down, this equates to a growth in approximately 592 jobs in one year alone – 394 of which can be linked directly to relocated remote workers.

While these numbers are promising, the program's continued impact is estimated to provide even more support to the local economy. At the current expected growth trajectory, the program is estimated to add roughly $500 million in new local earnings while supporting nearly 5,000 high-impact jobs – 1,500 of which are newly created equivalencies designed to attract remote workers to local companies.

A Trial for Similar Strategies Nationally

While remote worker incentives are only one piece of the giant puzzle for cities struggling to attract top talent or modernize their local economic standing, programs like Tulsa Remote have proven the effectiveness of these strategies. However, a city needs to ensure that they have the infrastructure and frameworks necessary to encourage remote workers to stay long term. This is particularly important since the program requires a one-year residency.

While the initial successes of Tula Remote are apparent, the actual economic impact of the program is yet to be determined. Moving forward, the program will need to focus on four key factors: refining the strategy to compete with similar programs nationally, focusing on retention and growth, ensuring local community support and buy-in, and the extent to which the program can improve local economic development.

Ready to Relocate to Tulsa?

To be eligible for the Tulsa Remote program, applicants must meet distinct requirements, including full-time remote employment or self-employment outside Oklahoma. If you are interested in taking advantage of the program, Why Not Oklahoma would like to welcome to you the state. We hope you find it as impressive as we do and want to stay long-term!

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