Funded by the George Kaiser Family Foundation, an influential Tulsa-based philanthropy, Tulsa Remote program is launched in 2018 and has so far received more than 20,000 applications from people all over the world looking for a new place to call home.
Tulsa Remote is designed to put the small city on the national map, and shock it with a jolt of new energy, pulled from the outside in. It’s yet another step in Tulsa’s recent quest for self-improvement, as the erstwhile oil boomtown tries to boost its population and plant the seeds of a new generation.
The rules are simple. Applicants must be full-time remote workers or be self-employed outside of Oklahoma and eligible to work in the United States. They must be older than 18 and be able to move to Tulsa within the 2021 Calendar Year. Once accepted, recipients agree to live in Tulsa for at least one year.
Tulsa Remote program wants to attract “talented and energetic people” to Tulsa who care about making a difference in their local community. It seek to bring people from diverse industries and skill sets that bring jobs with them into Tulsa economy.
The program reflects a new economic development strategy that Tulsa is among the first to pilot. Traditionally, cities looking to spur their economies may offer incentives to attract businesses. But Tulsa move to different way, it’s the responsibility of cities to create a community that someone would want to call home, and make sure people know to move there.
The endgame of Tulsa Remote is that these residents will help build a flourishing new economic ecosystem in town; they’ll start families and launch start-ups and tell their friends to come join them. There’s always be a “multiplier effect” expected, even if the workers aren’t employed by Tulsa-based companies.