Attracting Remote Workers with Incentive Programs

Recorded On: 09/22/2021

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it appears that remote work is here to stay: according to a December 2020 report from Upwork, 26.7 percent of the workforce will be fully remote through 2021. Furthermore, another Upwork study reports that 14 to 23 million Americans are looking to move in 2021. These statistics suggest that local governments have an unprecedented opportunity to expand their tax base and bolster economic development by attracting these "digital nomads."

In this webinar, you'll join presenters from three different jurisdictions as they discuss the incentive programs they use to encourage individual teleworkers, small startups, and entrepreneurs to relocate to their communities. You will learn:

  • The steps your jurisdiction should take to begin developing your own incentive program
  • Which incentives are the most successful at attracting remote workers
  • How partnerships with nonprofits and other entities can help fund these programs
  • Marketing tips for getting the word out

ICMA Practice Areas: [6] Strategic Leadership; [9] Community and Resident Service

Justin Harlan

Chief Operating Officer, Tulsa Remote

Justin Harlan joined the Tulsa Remote team in April 2021 as the Chief Operating Officer. In his role, he guides the daily operations of the Tulsa Remote staff, supports the community team, oversees the new member application process and member experiences. He is excited to lead the program and welcome more remote workers to Tulsa as it continues to expand.

Justin has dedicated his career to educational equity and entrepreneurialism. Before joining Tulsa Remote, he served as Senior Executive Director for Reading Partners Tulsa. During his three and a half years at Reading Partners, the organization worked with over 5,000 Tulsa area students, annually engaging over 1,500 community volunteers each program year. He launched his career with Teach For America-Oklahoma when it opened in Tulsa in 2009, and quickly rose through the organization as it expanded across the state. In his various roles, Justin raised more than $7.5 million for Teach For America and secured funding from the State of Oklahoma. Justin also managed operations for the Teach For America Oklahoma City Institute, which trained more than 260 teachers, staffed over 100 people, and provided free summer school to more than 2,000 students. He was a founding board member for Collegiate Hall College Prep Charter School in Tulsa.

Justin earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration from the University of Tulsa. Justin and his wife Megan have two children, Landon and Payton, and run two fitness studios in Tulsa - Pure Barre South Tulsa and Row House South Tulsa.

Jennifer Bonnett

Vice President of Innovation/Entrepreneurship, Savannah Economic Development Agency

Jennifer Bonnett is a recovering entrepreneur turned entrepreneurial ecosystem builder focused on helping entrepreneurs launch, grow and scale technology businesses in the Savannah, Georgia region.  Jennifer serves technology entrepreneurs through her role as Director of the Creative Coast and Vice President of Innovation/Entrepreneurship for the Savannah Economic Development Agency (SEDA). 

Jennifer has recently launched Gig Workers Guild ( focused on providing infrastructure to make “gig” work for gig workers, freelancers and solo-preneurs.

Prior to these roles, Jennifer was Director/General Manager of the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC), Georgia's Technology Incubator, a “top twelve incubators changing the world” according to Forbes Magazine.  While at ATDC, Jennifer spearheaded the development of a recurring year round curriculum, statewide expansion, the “Accelerate” program and growing the number of physical incubatees from 19 to 90 companies. Jennifer has a passion for female technology entrepreneurs and is the founder of StartupChicks, a non-profit membership organization. StartupChicks is focused on connecting, educating and inspiring women and girls to become STEM focused entrepreneurs. Jennifer is a former technology entrepreneur with over 25 years experience in Information Technology and Software Development specializing in web and mobile technologies. Jennifer has held numerous CEO/CTO positions in bootstrapped, angel and venture-backed technology startups. 

Bob Ross

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication, Greater Topeka Partnership

Bob Ross is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communication for the Greater Topeka Partnership. The Partnership brings together the Greater Topeka Chamber of Commerce, the Visit Topeka convention and visitor bureau, Downtown Topeka Inc, and the GO Topeka economic development agency to advocate for the capital city of Kansas. Prior to his role in the Partnership, Ross spent twenty years in the private sector, working in a variety of domestic, and international merchandising leadership roles with Payless ShoeSource, headquartered in Topeka, Kansas, and Academy Sports and Outdoors, located in Katy, Texas.  Ross now brings that private sector sales and marketing experience to his hometown, and is a passionate champion for the city, promoting Topeka and raising the communities profile nationally.


Attracting Remote Workers with Incentive Programs
09/22/2021 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
09/22/2021 at 1:00 PM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
Evaluation Survey
15 Questions
1.50 ICMA CE credits  |  Certificate available
1.50 ICMA CE credits  |  Certificate available