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Cities in the U.S. are actively looking for people to move in to them and bring their remote jobs with them

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Fed up with moving house, free of work constraints and finished with big cities, Kate Yanov took a whole new approach to finding a new family home.

She let it find her.

Under an innovative programme, Oklahoma’s second city was actively looking for people just like Yanov to move to Tulsa, seeking residents who would stay at least a year and bring their remote jobs with them.

In return, successful applicants would get a $10,000 stipend, housing assistance, space at a co-working location and more, according to organisers of the new programme, Tulsa Remote, which is funded by a local foundation.

The Tulsa programme is one of several new initiatives by cities, states and counties that have seen dwindling populations and stagnating economic growth as populations age and younger residents leave chasing opportunities — and don’t come back.

While some of these seek any newly qualified resident, others are looking to the growing number of workers who can, like Yanov, work wherever they want.

Yanov applied, was accepted and finally visited Tulsa in April.

“It just felt very comfortable, like we could slot in and set up our home and find a place where we walk the dogs every day. It was very, surprisingly welcome,” she said.

Employment was no hindrance.

Yanov, who runs the tech company she founded, can use her phone and computer to work wherever she wants, while her husband is pursuing his PhD remotely, through a British university.

And they liked the city so much that she and her husband made an offer on a house during that trip.

They’re planning to move by the end of May.

DECLINE AND FALL

Remote working on any major scale remains a relatively new opportunity, intimately tied to more powerful personal computers and faster Internet capabilities, and dependent on whether businesses are open to the idea.

In the United States, it’s also a trend that was spurred by the economic downturn of 2008, said Matt Dunne, founder and executive director of the Center on Rural Innovation, a non-profit seeking to use the digital job market to help rebuild small-town economies.

Between 2011 and 2013, the United States “saw the first-ever net decline in rural population,” but it won very little notice.

“In the meantime, as everyone has tried to shoehorn into large urban centres, there’s a talent, transportation and housing crisis. For us, that presents an opportunity,” Dunne said.

He pointed to Gallup findings released in December that 27 percent of Americans would prefer to live in a rural area, versus the 12 percent who favour a large city.

Today, nearly 4 million Americans — almost 3 percent of the workforce — work from home at least half of the time, a 115 percent increase since 2005, according to Brie Reynolds, senior career specialist with FlexJobs, a job search site.

The first incentive programme like Tulsa’s — offering support for people willing to relocate and work remotely — began in 2015 in the state of Montana, Reynolds said.

Reynolds said she and her colleagues have noticed an increase in similar programmes over the past year or so.

In January, the small, mountainous state of Vermont started offering $5,000 to anyone working remotely for a company based outside of the state who would come and live in Vermont.

The initiative aimed to reverse an onerous trend: a third of the state population is older than 55 and will be set to retire in the next decade, said Joan Goldstein, commissioner with the state Department of Economic Development.

“There are less children in the schools,” she said. “All of these demographic numbers point to the idea that we need more people in the state … the object of the game is to get new tax filers.”

Goldstein said the Remote Worker Grant Program has seen “tremendous” interest, including from other state governments, and the governor has already sought to expand it.

“I suspect we’ll see a lot more of these types of programmes, because every rural area in the country is experiencing the same issues and problems. And I suspect that we’ll all be competing with each other for people,” she said.

Not all such programmes are focused on remote workers, however, with some simply seeking to entice people from cities.

Since 2012, Kansas has been trying to lure residents back to its vast rural areas, said Rachell Rowand, programme manager for the state’s Rural Opportunity Zones project.

The programme accepts applicants with college degrees then helps them pay down their loans, and has been particularly successful in attracting doctors and teachers, Rowand said.

It covers 77 of the state’s 105 counties, many of which have experienced double-digit population loss, she said.

“That’s scary, so we’ve been trying to find a way to help people move back into rural areas.”

‘BEAUTIFUL DOWNTOWNS’

As yet, there is no data on the cumulative economic effect of initiatives like those running in Tulsa, Vermont and Kansas, said Dunne, with the Center on Rural Innovation.

“We’re at an early stage of exploring this,” he said.

Policymakers have “been slow to even look at economic development strategy and performance to recognise the situation in our country right now, particularly in rural areas.”

But he points to great possibility in moving large swathes of the digitally enabled economy out of urban areas and into “these beautiful downtowns all across America.”

Already, Dunne said, the number of people across the country with access to high-speed Internet is “equivalent to the workforce of three or four San Franciscos.”

Thus far, this new spate of incentive programmes is creating significant interest, organisers said.

The Tulsa Remote programme received more than 10,000 applications in just 10 weeks — 10 times what they had been anticipating, said executive director Aaron Bolze.

The programme is now expecting more than 100 people to move to Tulsa this year, with another application process opening in the autumn, he said.

Bolze can relate to those interested in the programme.

He grew up in Tulsa and moved back two years ago from San Francisco — like Yanov, seeking a cheaper, more intimate existence.

“I couldn’t be happier. My life is a lot more full.”

source:thisplace

 

 

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Uber plans blacklist of unruly customers to protect drivers

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Taxi-hailing firm Uber has rolled out a new rider quality system that will see it blacklist Kenyan riders who consistently receive poor evaluation from its drivers.

Uber’s new policy follows a myriad of complaints from drivers over unruly customers who make their job harder to execute.

The firm Monday sent a message to customers notifying them of this latest change while noting that, where an account is marked several times for complaints of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ and failure to adhere to Uber’s community guidelines, a rider will have restricted app access as a result.

The unruly behaviour, according to Uber, can include asking the driver to break the law by, for instance asking him or her to ignore speed limits. It also includes causing damage to the vehicle by for example vomiting due to excessive drinking or spillage of food and drinks in the car.

It also includes the use of inappropriate, abusive and disrespectful language and clashing with a driver due to bad behaviour.

This latest policy, the US-based firm said, will see badly behaved customers receive a warning and be guided on how to improve their rating.

However, if they continue to get bad feedback from drivers after warnings, the next step will be to temporarily suspend the account for one week and if there is still no improvement, face the possibility of full deactivation.

“We have recently updated our community guidelines which extends the same behavioural standards to the riders that we have for drivers and we will be notifying a small number of riders that their behaviour needs to improve or their access to the app could be removed — which is already done with drivers,” said Uber Country Manager Brian Njao.

“Fostering a community of mutual respect matters to us and this change is about shared accountability on our platform and asking everyone using Uber to be respectful of one another,” he said.

Uber, while making the announcement, said that the move was part of the firm’s efforts- geared towards improving transparency, accountability and boosting the safety of its drivers and riders.

Drivers are also rated on a range of factors including the vehicle’s cleanliness, rider experience during the journey and overall mannerism.

Source:nation.co.ke

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MAHIGA HOMES: We build and deliver homes fast, on very pocket-friendly terms [VIDEO]

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Mahiga Homes Limited is a Real Estate Development Company which has become very popular with Kenyans in the Diaspora in the last few years. It was in the news recently following a colourful keys-handing over ceremony during which many investors, including tens from the US and Europe, took possession of their units.

How it works

Mahiga Homes offers decent and affordable housing to clients in different parts of the country. Generally, the homes are delivered within a period of 10-12 months (depending on the project), at an affordable rate, in secure and serene environments which are accessible from the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD).

Hand-selected by local experts, these homes – curated by design, amenities, and neighbourhood – provide a visual snapshot of the most sought after properties in town. Mahiga homes are affordable, luxurious and in modern designs. “We are passionate about quality of product/ service and meeting of set deadlines,” says CEO, Peter Mahiga.

Examples

Mahiga homes Ltd, having delivered and handed over 4 projects, namely: Cornerstone I Estate, Cornerstone III Estate, Cornerstone IV Estate and Kamulu Cornerstone Gardens, have become the talk of the town. Watch:

They now present to you Rockvilla III Estate Spacious 3 bedroom bungalows master ensuite located just 300 metres off tarmac at Joska.

It is 15 minutes drive from JKIA and 30 minutes drive from CBD. The offer price is Kshs 3.95m.  Deposit is Kshs 1.6m and you pay the balance in 12 monthly installments.

This is a beautiful gated estate in the heart of serenity. They are 3-Bedroom Bungalows and each unit is sitting on a 40×80 plot.

FEATURES:

-Master Ensuite bedroom

-106 square metres

  -Master Ensuite bedroom

-Spacious Lounge and KitcheN

-Large windows for natural lighting

-In-built MDF wardrobes

-Cabro paved driveways

-Car park for 2 cars

-Green area

-Available borehole water for the estate

-Solar water heating system

-Perimeter wall all round the estate

We also present to you The RIVERFRONT Luxurious 3 bedroom bungalows, all bedrooms ensuite, located in Ruiru suburbs overlooking Tatu city, whose price is Khs 5.5m per unit. Deposit is Kshs 2m and you pay the balance in 12 monthly installments.

Testimonials

Cornerstone I Estate was handed over on 25th August 2018, The owners have moved in and living in them already.

 

 

 

Cornerstone IV Estate, handover on 20th April 2019 home owners are moving in

Kamulu Cornerstone Gardens, handover on 29th June 2019

Cornerstone I, III, IV and Kamulu Cornerstone Gardens are sold out.

To learn more, visit www.mahigahomes.co.ke or call/Whatsapp +254 720 460 413

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Naikuni to pay Sh10m to ex-KQ employee he undressed at public event over Arsenal jersey

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Former Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer, Titus Naikuni, has been ordered by a Nairobi court to pay a sum of Sh10 million to an employee he unlawfully sacked.

According to the Employment and Labour Relation Court, the action by Naikuni against former Corporate and Communication Manager Kepha Bosire was unjustifiable.

Bosire was awarded Sh1.8 million being three months’ salary in lieu of notice, twelve months salary compensation, Sh1 million for compensation for undignified treatment of the claimant all  amounting to Sh10 million.

On Thursday during the judgment, Justice Nelson Abuodha said the former CEO was personally liable for the award granted to Bosire.

KQ LOGO

According to Moreno’s Lawyer Steve Mogaka, Naikuni removed Moreno’s t-shirt which he said did have the KQ logo. Bosire wore an Arsenal FC team jersey.

This happened in 2013 during an event that was held at the Lemek Conservancy.

According to the court, Naikuni would have looked for other ways of making Moreno leave the event.

The court also heard that Naikuni directed the Director of Human Resource at the company to fire Moreno which the lawyer argued was unfair as per the requirement of the Employment Act.

“The CEO embarrassed the claimant in front of his colleagues and other guests who were in attendance during event,” the lawyer told the court.

Source:nation

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