'Choose Topeka Relocation Incentive' will include a new program to support Veterans, college graduates and boomerang residents
TOPEKA, Kan., June 6, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- GO Topeka announced today the expansion of its $15,000 Choose Topeka Relocation Incentive. New Topeka and Shawnee County residents, and recent graduates of Washburn University, can receive up to $15,000 toward home purchases or childcare-related expenses if they work in person for a local company. A $5,000 incentive is available for Veterans and "boomerang" residents seeking to return to the metro.
The initiative is designed to support area employers, grow the region's booming economy and address a low unemployment rate, currently at 3.5%. The incentives are available to incoming talent working for a participating Shawnee County employer, with a minimum salary requirement of $50,000 a year.
"Our Choose Topeka program has been a stunning success. We want to keep our program relevant by expanding and modifying incentives to respond to the needs of our current economy and workforce talent demands," said Trina Goss, director of business and talent initiatives for GO Topeka. "Our program was one of the first of its kind in the country. This revamped initiative will enable us to address 2023 talent needs and provide an incentive that is more flexible and responsive to the needs of both employers and incoming talent."
The 2020-2022 Choose Topeka Relocation Incentive, which featured remote work and in-person incentives, brought in 99 individuals/families, with nearly 75% working for Topeka-based companies. Those individuals make an average salary of $89,000 per year, 19% higher than the national average of $74,738. Of those who made the move, 66% purchased homes, 34% are renting and 95% still reside in Topeka, generating a $3.9 million economic impact in the first year alone.
Topeka recently ranked sixth for top U.S. emerging housing markets, according to Realtor.com and the Wall Street Journal, with affordability and demand driving the rankings. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Topeka is $650, and the median house price is $169,500. Affordability has also helped propel population growth. According to U.S. Census data, Shawnee County's population increased by 2,265 residents in 2021. This was the fastest population growth recorded in 10 years. The region is also getting younger and more diverse: Shawnee County's median age is 38.4, with ages 25-44 increasing by 7.8% in 2021 and the non-white population growing by almost 7%.
As the capital of Kansas, Topeka is home to a dynamic employer base, with prominent companies including Hill's Pet Nutrition, Advisors Excel, Security Benefit, Capitol Federal and Evergy. In 2019, the city was selected by Plug and Play, a venture capital firm and corporate innovation platform, to be a startup accelerator location focused on animal health science and agricultural technology. To date, 65 startups have participated in the program, leading to 17 pilot projects/proofs of concept. Each year, the program develops two accelerator groups comprised of 10-12 animal health and ag-tech startups that partake in the three-month-long program.
"In Topeka, you're met with a comprehensive business landscape that offers diverse workforce opportunities across various industries," said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka. "Moreover, our community boasts a wealth of affordable lifestyle options that cater to many different interests and budgets. In terms of work-life balance and family-friendly fun, Topeka and Shawnee County are the total package."
The Topeka community is home to a thriving downtown district that continues to grow, featuring over $500 million in recent and ongoing redevelopment projects, including Evergy Plaza, a $9.5 million revitalization project with performance space, weekly fountain shows, an ice rink and more. Topeka is also home to the "NOTO Arts & Entertainment District," which offers more than 40 outdoor public art murals and sculptures, a rainbow crosswalk, as well as restaurants, art galleries and shops. Other important destinations include the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site; the Equality House, one of the country's most prominent LGBTQ+ pride sites; the Oakland Hispanic District, which includes a variety of Hispanic-owned restaurants and retailers and is home to the historic Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, which hosts one of the Midwest's largest Hispanic cultural festivals, Fiesta Topeka.
Interested candidates can learn more about the Choose Topeka talent recruitment initiative and apply for the incentives here.
About Greater Topeka
The Greater Topeka area in Shawnee County represents a community of 178,915 people, located in the Greater Kansas City region. As the state capital of Kansas, Topeka is home to a dynamic employer base with headquartered companies including Advisors Excel, Security Benefit, Capitol Federal and Evergy. Topeka is proud to be a part of the #KCHeartland and the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.
About GO Topeka
GO Topeka creates opportunities for economic growth that contribute to a thriving business climate and fulfilling lifestyle in Topeka and Shawnee County. GO Topeka operates under the Greater Topeka Partnership and is the leading economic development agency in the region. For more, visit https://www.gotopeka.com/.
Claudia Velasquez, Violet PR, 8627039202, [email protected]
SOURCE Violet PR