‘We’ve already had applicants’: Johnson City launches program to draw remote workers


JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Local partners are coming together to bring in remote workers to Johnson City.

The program is a partnership between the Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association, VISIT Johnson City, Northeast Tennessee Economic Partnership and other local partners.

“Partners have now come on board to begin a program to recruit remote workers, and so we’re really excited to kick off that program,” Alicia Phelps, Northeast Tennessee Tourism Association executive director, said. “We’ve already had applicants.”

The nationwide campaign that launches next week will offer up to $5,000 cash, a free grill and other discounts as incentives.

Also happening on Monday, remote workers will gather at Spark Plaza at 6 p.m. to discuss the region’s growth.

“We’ll work with folks that are already here that are remote workers and so they will serve as our best source of information when it comes to what they need, what made them want to come here and how we can see this program go and grow,” Phelps said.

Brent Rangen is a remote worker who said he does a lot of his work like zoom calls from Tannery Knobs.

“Being able to bike around and sit outside. Great cell service, great backdrop,” Brent Rangen, a remote worker for Norton Hurley, said. “It’s very under-utilized, easy, outdoor access.”

Rangen is hoping to help bring more remote workers into the area with his company.

“We’re looking at adding headcount here, possibly relocating headcount into Johnson into the Johnson City area,” Rangen said. “Our business will grow in Johnson City, so that’s yeah I’m excited for that to happen.”

Phelps said current residents shouldn’t be afraid of the new efforts to recruit remote workers.

“We’re not opening the floodgates, and we’re not saying come one come all,” Phelps said. “People will apply to the program and then they will be interviewed and selected.”

For more details on the campaign and how to apply, click here.

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