Topeka Approves $300K in New Incentives to Attract Talent in 2021, Offering up to $15K to Workers that Relocate to the Capital City

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GTP's ‘Choose Topeka’ program recruited 40 workers in its first year, a $3.2M economic impact

The popular Choose Topeka Relocation Incentive has been extended another year, allotting $300,000 to attract specialized talent to move to the Capital City.

“In just one year, we’ve already attracted 40 highly educated, well-paid workers and their family members. We’re excited to welcome even more people to our community in 2021," said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka.

GO Topeka announced that the popular Choose Topeka Relocation Incentive has been extended another year, allotting $300,000 to attract specialized talent to move to the Capital City. Recipients of these incentives are eligible to receive a maximum of $15,000 to be used in their moving and housing 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.

“In just one year, we’ve already attracted 40 highly educated, well-paid workers and their family members,” said Molly Howey, president of GO Topeka. “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.”

Kristy Blake, who was hired as director of the New Life Center at the University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus, moved to Topeka in late April with her husband. They came to the capital city from Arlington, Tenn., and ended up buying a home in Topeka.

“It really has been a very good transition for us. It really feels like a family here,” said Blake. She and her husband are getting to know their neighbors. And the city, she added, is a great size – “Small enough, yet big enough for what we enjoy doing.”

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.

“This money allowed me to finally own my dream home,” said Tyler Jaggers, a video game designer who moved to Topeka in 2020 from Palo Alto, Calif. “I spent the money I received on home improvement projects that have helped me build even more equity. I am really glad I made the move to Kansas.”

“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 (GTP) has received thousands of requests from across North America, as well as international interest from potential candidates in Europe, Asia and South America.

“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,” said Barbara Stapleton, vice president of business retention and talent initiatives, GO Topeka.

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. http://www.gotopeka.com

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Christina Forrest
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