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New Haven recruits remote workers through state and private partnership

New Haven Mayor Steven McMichael spoke Wednesday about recruitment efforts to bring remote workers to the Allen County city.
Tony Sandleben
New Haven Mayor Steven McMichael spoke Wednesday about recruitment efforts to bring remote workers to the Allen County city.

Indiana has been ramping up its recruitment efforts over the last several years Now, Northeast Indiana is getting into the mix. The City of New Haven is partnering with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation or IEDC and an organization called MakeMyMove that helps recruit remote workers to different communities across the country.

These partnerships are part of what New Haven is calling the New Haven Economic Transformation or NHExT (next) Program. It’s the first program to take advantage of money made available for talent recruitment by Senate Enrolled Act 361 that the Indiana General Assembly passed last year. That legislation allows the State and city governments to use taxpayer dollars to support talent recruitment efforts like MakeMyMove. MakeMyMove CEO Mike Rutz said the program bridges economic value to multiple communities.

“If you’re a software engineer making $350,000 at Boston Scientific, and you move to New Haven, but you’re still working for Boston Scientific, you’re effectively pipelining all of that money and all of that economic value right into this community,” Rutz said.

MakeMyMove is working with cities like Muncie, Crawfordsville, Bloomington and now New Haven to incentivize remote workers from across the United States to move to Indiana while still working remotely for companies based out of other states.

The organization reports it helped move 148 households to Indiana last year which it says will bring in more than $12 million dollars in economic benefits. New Haven Mayor Steve McMichael said New Haven was able to clear a hurdle facing other communities to make this partnership possible.

“There’s many others who have thought about doing this,” McMichael said. “They simply don’t have the housing availability. That’s one nut we’ve been able to crack here in New Haven.”

McMichael says New Haven plotted 562 new housing lots last year.

Each city has a benefits package they offer to remote workers as incentive to move there which includes monetary benefits and community perks like free membership to a local library or discounted prices at participating local businesses. The City of New Haven says it’s still working out the details of what it plans to offer.

Tony Sandleben joined the WBOI News team in September of 2022.