FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — The COVID-19 pandemic is prompting many people to think about where they want to live as working remotely is becoming the new normal for many professionals.
The NWA Council is giving $10,000 to professionals working remotely who will come and live in Northwest Arkansas.
“Well being from Texas I think it’d be an awesome opportunity to come to Arkansas especially now knowing what Arkansas has to provide," said University of Arkansas alum Erik Ramon.
Ramon went to school here and stayed in the area for work. He and his roommate Caleb Gray have been working remotely since March.
“I’ve definitely seen the benefits of working from home and actually prefer it more now than going into the office,” Gray said.
The two say as young professionals working remotely themselves, this new incentive is really exciting and something they hope maybe their friends out of state will apply for.
“Being from here I’ve tried to get my friends over the years to move down to Arkansas but honestly anyone does it’s hard to get them to leave...so it’s just the getting them here,” Gray said.
And that’s exactly what the NWA council is trying to do, get people here.
Nelson Peacock with the council says they will invest more than $1 million over six months for the pilot program called "Life Works Here" to bring in new professionals to the area.
“These would be individuals that already have jobs but those that are kind of looking to get out of the rat race on the coast,” Peacock said.
Although Peacock says they will consider all kinds of professionals, the most in-demand right now are those working in science, technology, engineering and math.
“It’s about job creation for the future, how we make sure we are as competitive and successful in the future as we have been for the last 20 years and focusing on stem talent and that’s how we believe we can do it with entrepreneurship,” Peacock said.
At this time the council is not disclosing where the funds are coming from.