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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic led to millions of Americans working from home, Gallup found that 43% of employees worked remotely at least part of the time. And while being cozy at home with your family and fur-babies as you do your job is nice, do you ever dream of lounging with your laptop on a balmy beach?
If a brief (or lengthy) getaway sounds great, but plane tickets aren’t in the budget, you might want to check out Hawaii’s “Movers & Shakas” (M&S) program.
The recently-launched program was designed to diversify the island’s economy by recruiting fully-employed individuals with the flexibility to work anywhere. Jason Higa, the group’s founder and the CEO of FCH Enterprises, said in a statement that he wanted to help fill the gap from a decrease in 7-day visitors to the state.
“The pandemic has normalized remote work for the foreseeable future,” Higa told CNN, “so we believe this situation presents an opportunity for local residents to return home, and for out-of-state professionals to experience Hawaii, not as tourists, but as contributing members of our community.”
Selected applicants will receive free round-trip tickets to the island of Oahu and significantly discounted lodging and co-working space, as well as promotions, unique program benefits and opportunities to interact with the local community.
The committee will choose 50 applicants who meet the qualifications for the first cohort. They will accept subsequent applicants to the program on a rolling basis, and the program will eventually expand to neighboring islands.
So, what’s the catch?
Applicants must take the “Pledge to Our Keiki,” committing to respect the islands’ culture and natural resources, and committing several hours a week to a local nonprofit, where their expertise can strengthen local communities.
M&S does not offer employment of any kind. Applicants must be U.S. residents 18 years of age or older. Couples and families can apply. The team will review each application and may conduct video interviews with finalists. If selected, you must move within one month of receiving notice and stay for a minimum of 30 days.
If this sounds like a dream come true, be sure to fill out an application by December 15, 2020.