If you’ve ever dreamed of pulling a Thoreau, and living a simpler life surrounded by nature, now might be your chance! Vermont governor Phil Scott is incentivizing remote workers to move to Vermont by offering them $10,000 over two years to cover moving and business expenses. While he’s not suggesting you move to a secluded cabin on a lake — although that could be a possibility if there’s a strong WiFi signal — the governor is trying to change the way Vermont is perceived: from a backwoods state to a hub of entrepreneurialism, education, and healthy living.
Many rural states have been trying different tactics to fill empty jobs. Some have offered incentives like student-loan paybacks, payments on houses, free land, or homes for as cheap as a dollar. South Dakota has implemented a program designed to get expatriated South Dakotans to move back home, while Maine has built affordable housing on some of its coastal islands to attract new residents.
Vermont’s strategy is a bit different. Rather than trying to fill empty jobs in their state, their focus is on attracting remote workers from other states. In 2016, Gallup found that 43 percent of American workers spent some time working remotely, so there’s certainly no shortage of remote workers to be enticed.
As former president (and Vermonter) Calvin Coolidge said: “I love Vermont because of her hills and valleys, her scenery and invigorating climate, but most of all because of her indomitable people.” Now, you could be one of them!