I don't know about you, but when someone asks me to envision northwest Arkansas, I think of 11 counties: Benton, Carroll, Boone, Washington (Fayetteville), Madison, Newton, Crawford, Franklin, Johnson, Logan and Sebastian. Well, the Northwest Arkansas Council is trying to lure remote tech workers and entrepreneurs to the area by offering them $10,000 worth of Bitcoin and a bicycle.
It might take more than a bike and a third of a bitcoin to get anyone I know anywhere near that area. Those counties are all filled with Trump voters and anti-vaccine nuts. You want that for your neighbors? Trump won 62.4% of Arkansas in 2020, but way more than that in the northwest part of the state. As of yesterday, Arkansas was 52% fully vaccinated, but not in the part of the state asking tech workers to come in.
This list of counties is in order of Trump voters:
Boone- 79.8% Trump (36% fully vaccinated)
Newton- 79.8% Trump (33% fully vaccinated)
Franklin- 79.6% Trump (47% fully vaccinated)
Logan- 78.3% Trump (45% fully vaccinated)
Crawford- 77.2% Trump (44% fully vaccinated)
Madison- 77.0% Trump (42% fully vaccinated)
Johnson- 73.0% Trump (47% fully vaccinated)
Sebastian- 66.2% Trump (47% fully vaccinated)
Carroll- 62.9% Trump (46% fully vaccinated)
Benton- 61.7% Trump (51% fully vaccinated)
Washington- 50.4% Trump (53% fully vaccinated)
Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council says the region is "one of the fastest-growing regions in the country, and we’re now seeing more explosive growth in our tech sector. This expanded incentive offer-- Bitcoin and a Bike-- not only embraces the growing trend toward the use of cryptocurrency as a payment option by employers, but also helps increase our pipeline of talent to benefit tech employers, startups, cities, local businesses and the region overall." Sounds like wishful thinking.
Northwest Arkansas has more than 10,000 job openings and a shortage of talent to fill available STEAM [science, technology, engineering, art or math] jobs, according to the Life Works Here initiative website, which is aimed at attracting professionals to the area.
...Potential transplants must be able to relocate to Northwest Arkansas within six months of acceptance, sign a lease for local housing or purchase a house, be at least 24 years old, and have full-time remote employment.
The Life Works Here initiatives launched in November 2020 have so far generated over 36,000 applications from more than 115 countries and 50 states.
The only place I could imagine visiting in the area--let alone living-- is Fayetteville, which is the county seat of Washington County and a nice blue bastion surrounded by a red hell. The mayor, Lioneld Jordan (D) was just elected to his 4th term. The state Reps whose districts include part of Fayetteville are Nicole Clowney (D), David Whitaker (D) and Denise Garner (D) and the state Senators are Greg Leding (D) and Lance Eads (R). In the 2016 primary election, countywide, Bernie got 8,507 votes and Señor Trumpanzee got 7,968.