Getting fed up of living in a big expensive city? Well you could be paid to move somewhere with a lot more space.
The region of Northwest Arkansas is trying to attract new residents and it is offering people $10,000 (£7,500) and a free bike to move there.
The Life Works Here initiative aims to bring new talent to the area, focusing on people who can work remotely.
The council explains: ‘Northwest Arkansas has more than 10,000 job openings right now and has a shortage of talent to fill available STEAM jobs. We want to attract talent who will help us build a richer long-term talent pipeline that supports our thriving local economy.
‘The incentive is specifically targeting remote workers – we are looking for people who can meaningfully contribute to and actively participate in our vibrant community.’
Successful applicants can enjoy low cost living, outdoor activities, arts institutions and a per-capita income that’s 14% higher than the national average.
While it might sound remote, the area includes four of the ten largest cities in the state – Fayetteville, Springdale, Rogers, and Bentonville – meaning you can still access all the amenities you’re used to.
The average cost of rent for a one bedroom apartment in Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers is $610 (£458), which is below the US average of $930 (£699).
And there’s plenty of opportunities to use the free bike you would receive as the area has 162 miles of paved trails, the 37-mile Razorback Regional Greenway and the 322 miles of world-class mountain biking trails.
To apply, you must be at least 24 years old, have at least two years of work experience and currently live outside Arkansas.
You need to be in full-time remote employment and it is open to U.S. citizens or non U.S. citizens who can legally work there.
You also need to relocate to Northwest Arkansas within six months of acceptance.
The council is particularly interested in attracting STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math) professionals and entrepreneurs, but is open to people in other careers.
It says: ‘We’ll assess the applicants’ skills in relation to our region’s needs, as well as what they can add to our community. We’re not looking for someone who can only do a good job at work. We’re looking for people who will add to the vibrancy of our community.’
Once your applications is submitted, it will be reviewed by the Northwest Arkansas Council and it will then interview and select candidates.
Right now, there is no set number of places as it is a pilot scheme and the council will decide whether to extend it in the future.
The grant is one per household, so you can’t submit applications for both you and and your partner and receive $20,000, but the council says it will assist spouses with finding employment.
You can apply for the scheme on the Northwest Arkansas website.
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