'Choose Topeka' Extended with Funding into 2021
Wednesday, February 10, 2021 7:00 PM by Jensen Simons
GO Topeka, a Greater Topeka Partnership organization, announced that the Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO) approved the extension of the Choose Topeka Relocation Initiative Incentive, allotting $300,000 in incentives meant to attract specialized talent to move to the Capital City. Additionally, 40% of this amount will be allotted to the remote workers arm of the incentive program. Recipients of these incentives are eligible to receive a maximum of $15,000 to be used in their moving expenses. In its first year, Choose Topeka attracted 40 workers and created a $3.2 million regional economic impact.
To date, 40 people making average wages of $80,000 per year participated in the program, relocating from cities across the U.S. including New York City and San Francisco. Twenty-one workers purchased a home in Topeka and 19 are renting housing; many brought family members with them.
“GO Topeka is ecstatic to see this program extended into 2021. Choose Topeka really flourished in its first year, but there is only more opportunity ahead of us as more people set their sights on Topeka, Kansas,” said Barbara Stapleton, vice president of business retention & talent initiatives, GO Topeka.
“In just one year, we’ve already attracted 40 highly educated, well-paid workers and their family members. We have always known that Topeka and Shawnee County are an amazing place to call home, and we’re excited to welcome even more people to our community in 2021,” said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka.
The Choose Topeka incentive allows employers to match a relocation incentive for recruited candidates to Topeka, with a combined total up to $15,000 when buying a home, and $10,000 for renters signing a one-year lease. Employees who work remotely for companies based outside Topeka can receive up to $10,000 if they purchase a home, and up to $5,000 toward a one-year lease, tiered based upon their annual salary.
“When developing a talent attraction program, it’s critical to customize to the needs of your city, both at the business and individual level. We’ve tried to create flexibility with the program, while ensuring we not only engage our residents and partners, but provide a solution that benefits the broader community, too” said Stapleton.
"This is an exciting validation of the work that went into developing this program,” said Topeka Mayor Michelle De La Isla. “Choose Topeka not only addresses an important need to attract talent to our community, but it is a powerful tool to provide many new people access to funds needed to buy a home."
The Greater Topeka Partnership has received thousands of requests from across North America as well as international interest from potential candidates in Europe, Asia and South America.
Interested candidates can learn more about the Choose Topeka talent recruitment initiative and apply for incentives here.
About GO Topeka
GO Topeka creates opportunities for economic growth that provide a thriving business climate and fulfilling lifestyle for Topeka and Shawnee County. GO Topeka operates under the Greater Topeka Partnership, the leading economic development agency in the region. https://www.gotopeka.com/
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