Wanted: Knowledge workers in the American Heartland

When Wendy Song told her family and friends that she was leaving Los Angeles to move to Tulsa, Oklahoma, the reaction was almost always the same.

“Most of them were just like, ‘Where is Tulsa? I feel like my mom still doesn’t really know where I am,” says Song, who moved to the city in 2021, with a laugh. “She just knows I’m in the state above Texas.”

During the pandemic, Song, 34, whose marketing job had been converted to a remote position, wanted to give the digital nomad lifestyle a try. The L.A-area apartment she and her husband, Sen Dowling, were living in was small and expensive.

“We were paying $2,500 for a one-bedroom and it was kind of dark,” she says.

That’s when they came across Tulsa Remote, a program designed to attract remote workers to Tulsa by providing a $10,000 financial incentive to relocate to the city for at least one year.

After researching the program – she remembers being enticed by the low cost of living–and watching YouTube videos of people who had been part of Tulsa Remote, the couple decided to apply to the program.

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