71 cities and towns are paying tech workers to ditch Silicon Valley. That works.

By Christophe Mims | Photographs of September Dawn Bottoms for the Wall Street Journal

A growing number of cities and towns across the United States are handing out cash grants and other benefits aimed at attracting qualified employees from faraway businesses to live and work there remotely. A handful of such programs have been around for years, but they started gaining traction during the pandemic and really took off in the last year alone. As of October, there were at least 24 such programs in the United States. Today, there are 71, according to Indianapolis-based MakeMyMove, which is contracted by cities and towns to set up such programs.

Because these programs specifically target high-wage remote workers, a disproportionate share of those who take advantage of them work in tech, and especially for big tech companies. Adobe, Airbnb, Amazon Apple Dell, the parent meta-platforms of Facebook, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Lyft, netflix, Oracle and Siemensaccording to a spokeswoman for the organization.


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