Tulsa Remote Program Sees Surge Of Applicants From California

Monday, September 21st 2020, 9:42 pm
By: Jonathan Cooper

TULSA, Okla. -

The Tulsa Remote program has been getting thousands of new applications from people who want to move to Tulsa.

Many of the new applicants are from the California and the San Francisco bay area.

More than 240 people have moved to Tulsa so far in 2020 as part of the program, and they’re expecting a lot more to do so before the year is over.

Jaleesa Garland was born and raised in California.

"I grew up mostly in the bay area, and in the central valley in Stockton, California," said Garland.

Her time in the Golden State will come to an end in two weeks.

Garland was accepted into Tulsa Remote, the program started by the George Kaiser Family Foundation that pays workers $10,000 to move to Tulsa and work remotely.

"I am so excited,” said Garland. “I've been packed since mid-August."

Garland's company, based in San Francisco, is now permanently remote.

With four roommates and a rent between all of them of more than $6,000 a month, Garland said she wanted to find a city like Tulsa that's more affordable.

"This is going to be the first time in my adult life that I actually can afford to live alone," said Garland.

Garland isn't the only one applying. Since the start of the pandemic, Tulsa Remote said the interest has picked up.

"We had about 10,000 applicants the first year we did the program. We're going to surpass that by quite a bit this year," said Grant Bumgarner, Tulsa Remote Community Manager.

Bumgarner said as many companies moved to remote working, more people realized they were eligible for the program. He said they're starting to get the word out more.

While nearly every state is now represented, a lot of applicants in recent weeks, like Garland, are from California.

"We've had over a thousand applicants just in the last two weeks alone. Over half of them are from California, many from the bay area,” Bumgarner said. “It's been a wild time for us. It's the first really surge we've ever done actually advertising the program.”

With this program, Garland can’t help but look towards the future.

"I'm coming out on top,” said Garland. “I'm really excited about that."