MUNCIE — Offering incentive packages to lure employers is a very old and common practice. In a recent twist, Muncie is skipping the employer altogether and aiming straight at employees.

Mayor Dan Ridenour has dedicated $250,000 in local Economic Development Income Tax money and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation is matching that amount in an effort to market Muncie to people working remotely. The city is offering people who work from their residences, and earn $70,000 or more, $5,000 in cash as well as co-working space courtesy of The Innovation Connector and access to the Ball State University Library. The incentive package is appraised at $6,000 on a website called MakeMyMove.com. In return, the at-home worker moves to Muncie.

Ridenour said the city has partnered with a company called TMap, which operates the website and actively markets the city to people who have expressed a desire to move to communities of the size and nature of Muncie. 

"They do a lot more than post an ad to a website," Ridenour said. "… They know a person's patterns, their likes and dislikes."

People who have a history of checking out Muncie or communities of a similar nature will be recruited directly. The mayor said Lafayette landed 19 new citizens using this method of recruitment.

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