(The Center Square) – Quincy, Illinois, will bet people $3,500 in rent and moving incentives that they will like living there.
The city of 40,000 along the Mississippi River has a variety of industries, including manufacturing, a fast-growing healthcare segment and a robust education sector all looking for workers. To keep the local economy humming, Quincy has established a new monetary incentive program to attract 5,000 new residents to the area by 2030.
“As business has expanded, the population base has not kept up,” Mayor Mike Troup said. “We want to make sure that businesses remain strong and focused on Quincy for all their future development. We have to find the workers that they need.”
A consultant suggested offering moving and housing rebates to encourage job applicants to choose Quincy over other localities. The city council agreed to try a pilot program.
Under the Quincy Workforce Relocation Assistance Program (Q-WRAP), people who agree to move to Quincy can get reimbursed for their rent or lease for up to $3,500 after six months. After one year in town, if they decide to buy a house, they are eligible for a property tax rebate of up to $5,000. People who work remotely are also eligible for the incentives — even if they work for a company that is not located in Quincy.
“Quincy’s cost of living is 24.5% lower than the national average,” Troup said. “And our cost of housing is 52% lower than the national average – both according to bestplaces.net.”
Three manufacturers that are located in Quincy are using the incentives to entice job applicants to choose Quincy.
“They will be making offers to at least 10 people a month – all of whom will be eligible for this program,” Troup said.
Currently, there are 700 good-paying jobs with benefits from just about every economic sector available in Quincy right now, Troup said. In addition, nearly every local business has a help wanted sign in the window.
“We have reached out to different alumni groups from our public schools … people who have graduated in the last 15 to 20 years … to say ‘Hey, are you tired of big city life? Are you ready to come back?’ Word is just getting out and the response has been exciting,” Troup said.
Quincy is on the western border of Illinois where Iowa and Missouri meet. Quincy has a diverse education system, including both public and parochial elementary and secondary schools, technical schools, a community college and a private four-year university.