TEP is backing a local initiative to attract remote workers to move to Tucson – a way to promote economic growth in our community.

In a pilot test of the new program this year, Remote Tucson plans to help 10 new residents relocate to Tucson with benefits valued at more than $7,650, including moving assistance, perks and connections with local culture and ambassadors.

TEP is providing items for a welcome package, including a $100 voucher to the TEP Marketplace to purchase energy-efficient products, as well as a home energy savings kit containing LED bulbs, a LED nightlight, kitchen and bathroom sink aerators, and a low-flow showerhead. TEP also contributed $5,000 in seed funding to help Startup Tucson launch the program.

“From an economic development perspective, recruiting talent to the community supports local businesses and helps develop demand for new business,” said Camila Martins-Bekat, Senior Market Development Representative.

Remote Tucson plans to select the first participants this month for the pilot year.

Remote Tucson received more than 500 applications from 39 states between early November and December, when applications were closed due to overwhelming interest, said Liz Pocock, Chief Executive Officer of Startup Tucson. More than 60 percent of applicants had previously lived in Tucson, either as a child or while attending college.

“TEP’s support of this initiative has been so important. Our applicants are sharing that they are very interested in Tucson for some of our sustainability efforts, like those by TEP,” Pocock said. “Also, knowing that corporate partners are supporting this program and welcoming them has really made a difference in their decision to consider Tucson. They really value the sense of community.”

Applicants must be adults with full-time remote employment outside of the Tucson area and be willing to move to Tucson within six months of acceptance.

Benefits include a free year of internet service, co-working options, career support, gift cards, three nights of hotel stays and passes to local restaurants and attractions.

“This is really valuable for people who are looking to move,” said Martins-Bekat, noting packages can be customized to meet specific needs. “We want to give people a reason to stay.”

Visit the Remote Tucson website to learn more and subscribe for more information. The organization hopes to open up a new round of applications in late summer.

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