By Stacey Leasca
January 08, 2020

If 2020 is your year to move somewhere fresh you might as well make your new hometown Topeka. That’s because the capital of Kansas will pay you up to $15,000 to move there.

A new program called the Choose Topeka Talent Initiative is looking for extraordinary people to move to Topeka to help bolster its talent pool, economy, and help regrow its dwindling population.

The Kansas City Star reported, the program is a product of the Joint Economic Development Organization (JEDO), which is a combined effort between Topeka and Shawnee County. In total, the group is giving a $300,000 commitment, enough to provide up to 60 new resident workers with cash.

However, this isn’t just free cash. There are a few strings attached.

The first thing people need to know is they will only receive the cash after residing in the city for a year. And, the program’s website explained, all incentives will be performance-based.

“For primary residences only, the rental agreement incentive is $10,000 - a $5,000 match of employer and JEDO funds,” it added. “The purchase or rehabilitation of home is a $7,500 match of employer and JEDO funds. Moving costs alone to move a 1-2 bedroom apartment can range from $4,000 to $7,000 and for a 3-4 bedroom home, range from $10,000 to $16,000, depending on the distance and location.”

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Barbara Stapleton, vice president of business retention and talent initiatives at the Greater Topeka Partnership, told the paper, the main mission of the program is to get people to both live and work in the city so they will be committed to its future.

“And if their home is outside that community, it’s just that much more likely that they could find different work,” she added.

The program is not only aimed at adding more residents to the town’s population sign, but also to assist recruiters who are desperately trying to fill open jobs. According to the Kansas City Star, the number of job openings available across the country has outpaced the number of people looking for work for more than a year.

“With the Choose Topeka initiative, we hope to not only support our local recruiters and HR professionals in their attraction and retention efforts,” Molly Howey, SVP of Economic Development, GO Topeka, an organization of the Greater Topeka Partnership, added in the statement. “But we also intend to showcase just how much Topeka & Shawnee County supports its local talent and is crusading for them to reach that next step in their pathway to success and happiness within the community.”

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