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Hawaii Seeking Remote Workers, Offering Free Flights

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Hawaii is giving free roundtrip tickets to remote workers outside the state to temporarily work and reside in Oahu and help the economy, CNN reported Saturday.

The state collaborated with schools and businesses to start “Movers and Shakas,” CNN reported. The program is approving the first round of applicants until Dec.15. (RELATED: REPORT: GOP Lawmakers Defend Traveling To Hawaii During Pandemic)

“Movers and Shakas is a small step towards economic recovery and diversifying our economy,” Jason Higa, the program founder, said to CNN.

“The pandemic,” Higa said, according to CNN, “has normalized remote work for the foreseeable future, 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.”

Hawaii’s economy has experienced difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic, Edward White, data scientist, said, according to Hawaii News Now. White helped start the program and said COVID-19 has indicated Hawaii must be more independent and not so dependent on tourism.

For the first group, 50 people will be chosen and later applicants will be determined on a continuing basis, CNN reported. Someone who wants to apply must be 18 years old and a remote worker.

Applications have been available since Nov.29, according to the program’s website. Selection for the program is competitive and volunteer work is required, Hawaii News Now reported.

“Whether you’re a returning local or a new to Hawaiʻi, you’ll join a network of remote workers who work alongside local education non-profits to help give back to the community, as part of the community. To help you help us, we’ve put together a package of travel and lodging benefits to ease your transition to Hawaiʻi,” the website said.

Over 800 people have applied for the program, White said, according to Hawaii News Now.

Movers and Shakers didn’t immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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