The unusual proposal, which comes with a new law signed by Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday, aims to add to Vermont's small and aging population of 625,000 at a time when a thriving USA labor market is making it hard to retain workers, reports CNN. The average resident is older than the majority of the USA population and the state is concerned about a rapidly shrinking tax base. However, it has a high cost of living, just above the national average, and it's also one of the least diverse states in the country.
The new grant program comes about two months after Vermont announced another effort to draw workers to the state, which in 2017 had a population of around 624,000.
By luring out-of-state tech workers, the grant program hopes to revitalize Vermont's aging workforce. Over the past 25 years, the median age nationally has increased by near five years to 37.8, while Vermont's has risen by 10 years to 42.7.
The law defines a qualifying worker as working primarily from a Vermont home office or co-working space, and employed full-time by an out-of-state based company.
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Schirling said the incentive may be particularly helpful for couples considering a move to Vermont, when one spouse finds a job in Vermont but the other spouse would need to work remotely.
Applicants can start placing requests as early as January 1, though it might take a little longer to "get it up and going", said Mr. Sirotkin, who stressed that legislators were determined to make the application process straightforward. In 2021, the available funds will decrease to $125,000, and then to no more than $100,000 in the years that follow.
Gov. Scott's administration is attempting various strategies for attracting workers to the state to bolster the economy.
Legislators introduced the program seeking to shift the population's demographics.