Employees of out-of-state companies who work at home can receive grants to move to Vermont under a bill signed by Gov. Phil Scott on Wednesday.
The New Remote Worker Grant Program would require workers to become full-time residents of the Green Mountain State. At that point, the worker is eligible for a grant of up to $5,000 to help cover relocation costs and other qualified expenses, such as broadband access and computer hardware.
The program will be run by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. The legislature has appropriated $500,000 for the program, which is still being designed, said Joan Goldstein, commissioner of economic development.
“Lots of people are interested in moving to Vermont, and this is a way to recruit them to the state,” Goldstein said.
A study last year by Global Workplace Analytics and FlexJobs reported that 3.9 million workers, or almost 3 percent of the U.S. workforce, worked from home at least half the time in 2015. The number of telecommuting workers has increased 115 percent in the last decade, according to the report.