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Bloomington effort to attract remote workers sees positive early results

(photo courtesy of The Mill)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — The Mill in Bloomington says a pilot program launched in June to attract remote workers to the Monroe County city is already seeing positive results.

The nonprofit entrepreneurship center says Bloomington Remote has received more than 150 applications from around the world and four candidates have accepted offers to relocate.

The program offers free lifetime membership to The Mill, in addition to local onboarding services. The Mill is also partnering with Century 21 Global Mobility to provide relocation and real estate services for participants. The program does not offer a cash incentive for relocating.

“Several cities and regions in Indiana are developing or already offer programs to attract remote workers as part of their economic development initiatives,” said Pat East, executive director of The Mill. “We think Bloomington can be a leader for the state in talent attraction.”

The Mill says the applications came from 39 states and 29 countries. The nonprofit says it is using the pilot to test and refine the incentives it does offer to increase the program’s effectiveness.

“If we want more and better jobs in Bloomington, we need to make our talent pool irresistible to the employers of the future,” said East. “Bloomington already has the most highly educated population in Indiana, and fortunately, workers with only a high school diploma also earn more when they work for tech companies. Indiana’s reputation in tech circles is growing, but we need many more jobs in this high-paying sector.”

The Mill says if certain benchmarks for success are met, the city of Bloomington will commit additional funding to expand the program.