The COVID-19 pandemic eliminated many employees’ commutes to their jobs by bringing a new age of remote working. According to Upwork, 40.7 million Americans are expected to be working fully remote in the next five years.
Henry County is making plans to attract these remote workers from other states with MakeMyMove.
MakeMyMove is an online marketplace that helps communities attract remote workers to their area by offering them incentives to move to town.
MakeMyMove’s website (https://www.makemymove.com/) hosts pages for cities to show why workers should call their community home; soon, there will be a page for Henry County.
Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Corey Murphy told The Courier-Times that the county’s page will be ready in September. The page will be built to attract 20 workers.
Murphy said the EDC is currently looking for current community members that would be interested in providing testimonials, making short videos, or being a concierge who could show off Henry County. If you would be interested in filling one of these rolls, call the EDC office at 765-521-7402.
“The community itself, and the people here, are assets and can help sell the community to new residents,” Murphy said. “That’s long been a strength of the Henry County Community, its people and how welcoming they are.”
He added, “The target is remote workers that have a job and want to move to Henry County.”
He also explained that local companies will also have the opportunity to offer these incentives to their out-of-state workers that are interested in moving here.
Murphy said, “One of the concerns when we were talking about this was ‘Where are people going to live?’ My response was ‘That’s a great question, but let’s not let that stay in the way.’ Because this program very well may create a demand for more housing.”
He also brought up two new housing developments coming to New Castle and Knightstown.
This project has been funded by both the City of New Castle and Henry County. Henry County allotted $110,000 from coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to help fund the program. The proposed budget for the program is $220,000.
Murphy said the large investment was worth it because, “It will bring in new taxpayers, new consumers, and often times they will bring a partner or a spouse that will participate in the local economy as well.”
The program aims to attract workers in career fields such as Data Analytics, Finances, Cybersecurity, Accounting, and more. Murphy said it could bring employees that have a higher income than the median income of the county.
The total economic impact is projected to be up to $94,240 in one year, $471,200 in five years, and $942,400 in 10 years.
“So that’s why it’s worth it,” he said.