Cambria Regional Chamber
The Chamber is partnering with the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies on a program to attract remote workers to Johnstown. Between 2005 and 2017 there was a 159% increase in remote work nationwide - that was pre-COVID! Global Workforce Analytics predict - within the next two years, 25 to 30% of the workforce will be working from home at least one or more days a week. At the same time there is a desire by many to leave the hustle and bustle of crowded cities and head to places with less people, less traffic and lots of fresh air. According to a Forbes.com article, online mover marketplace HireAHelper shows a high percentage of out migration from major urban markets like New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington D.C. The data shows those folks are moving to small and medium sized cities around the country. In Johnstown our relators are seeing an influx of people from outside the region purchasing homes. When comparing this year to last, there is lower inventory, homes are selling faster with increased multiple offer situations, the average sold price is up $10,671 and days on the market is down by 31 days. We have started with a new website that highlights the things that are important to remote workers - details on broadband access, safety, cost of living and outdoor recreation. We will follow this with a targeted social media campaign and perhaps next steps will include relocation incentives. More to come, but for now we are finding a potential silver lining in the pandemic.