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State Offers Grants For Those Who Move Here To Work For Vermont Companies

An illustration of packed moving boxes
As of Jan. 1, 2020, people from outside Vermont can apply for state funding if they move here to work for a Vermont company.

Vermont's population is aging and its unemployment rate is low, so the state of Vermont is hoping to lure more workers here by offering grant funding to people who move to Vermont to work for a Vermont company.

Starting Jan. 1, 2020, those who move to the state and start a new job can be reimbursed for moving and work-related expenses up to $7,500 — though the grants are capped at $5,000 for those who move to Chittenden County, Franklin County and the Barre-Montpelier area.

Program criteria and application steps are available on the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development website.

ACCD Secretary Lindsay Kurrle said the program is one way to expand Vermont's tax base.

"Folks want Vermont to be more affordable. They want their taxes to either be reduced or not continue to grow," Kurrle said. "And, you know, one of the ways we can do this is by bringing people in and adding taxpayers."

The new program is based on an incentive that went into effect Jan. 1, 2019, which offers reimbursements to people who move to Vermont but work remotely for an out-of-state company. According to Kurrle, that program has brought 359 people to the state so far.

State spending on the remote worker grants was capped at $500,000, and Kurrle said the state has used up nearly all of that money. For the new worker relocation program, the Legislature allocated $1.2 million total. 

Kurrle said this new program is aimed at assisting Vermont companies that are having a hard time filling open jobs.

"What we were hearing was employers saying: 'We have vacancies, and we are finding it difficult to fill these vacancies,'" Kurrle said. "So this program would speak more to that, in filling those positions that are right inside the state."

Vermont's unemployment rate in November was 2.3%, while the civilian labor force shrank by about 1,200 people from the month prior, according to the Vermont Department of Labor.

Kurrle said the state works to connect Vermonters in and out of the labor force with new employment, but she said there aren't enough workers in the state to fill all available jobs.

"We have to look outside our state as well, and so this is just one of the tools that we're using to try to bring people in," Kurrle said.

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