April 5, 2022

First-of-its-kind program invites remote workers to make a home at Purdue University

‘Work From Purdue’ program provides incentives, resources to jumpstart a new life in West Lafayette tech hub

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Remote workers seeking inspiration and community may find their answer on a college campus with all the connections, activities, food and diversity it has to offer.

Work From Purdue, a first-of-its-kind program, invites and incentivizes remote workers to move to Discovery Park District at Purdue, a live/work community that unites the collaborative, invigorating energy of a campus with the flexibility of remote work. From cash stipends to $1,000 dining credit at the Atlas Family Marketplace in the newly renovated Purdue Memorial Union, Work From Purdue’s various relocation packages are designed to support new residents in making the most of their new home from day one.

After all, college campuses provided the blueprint for today’s extensive corporate complexes. Represented by brands like Amazon and Google, the modern corporate campus ensures that employees are never far from an inspiring change of scenery, invigorating workout or exciting lunch. The designs acknowledge that people can be their best when unified by shared goals and powered by collaboration.

Anticipating the new future of work, Purdue offers the same type of benefits to remote workers seeking a change of place. Like the corporate campuses they inspired, universities were designed to nurture their residents both on and off the clock, and Purdue, consistently ranked in the top 10 most innovative colleges in the nation, is the only university to engineer such a future-focused live and work lifestyle for people working remotely.

“Relocation through the Work From Purdue program has been nothing but positive and rewarding,” says Gwendolyn Price, founder and CEO of a tech startup company, who moved to West Lafayette in January. “The campus is beautiful, my workspace is close to home and they keep me informed about events in the community. I’ve been to a football game, attended professional and social dinners, seen lectures. I've even attended a barbeque at President Mitch Daniels’ campus home.”

convergence-carr Residents moving to West Lafayette through the Work From Purdue program will have access to the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration, including discounted access to Carr Workplaces. (Purdue University photo/John Underwood) Download image

Through the program, remote workers from outside Indiana may relocate to Discovery Park District at Purdue. Home to research facilities in some of the world’s most vital areas of innovation, the district also features luxury apartments, single-family homes and townhomes. During work hours, residents will be minutes from Carr Workplaces and the Purdue Foundry, Purdue’s hub for startup innovation; after hours, relaxing firepits, world-class lectures or a Broadway performance are only a short walk away.

No affiliation with Purdue is necessary, but eligible candidates must be working remotely full-time; currently reside out-of-state; and commit to living in West Lafayette for one year. Full eligibility requirements are available on the program webpage.

Incentives will vary depending on where candidates choose to live in West Lafayette; relocation packages may include up to $4,000 in cash relocation stipends, $1,000 dining credit good in the union’s Atlas Family Marketplace and other housing discounts.

New residents will be eligible for professional development and networking opportunities through Purdue Foundry and Greater Lafayette Commerce, as well as discounts on continuing education through Purdue Online and Purdue University Global.

Other lifestyle benefits include free public transportation, discounted gym memberships and access to family care-finding services, a campus wireless network and Purdue libraries.

“With pandemic-induced remote work giving people more freedom and control over where they can do their jobs, we’ve created a community to welcome newly mobile talent to the Purdue campus, where we aim to provide life-enhancing amenities and boundless opportunities for professional success,” says David Broecker, chief innovation and collaboration officer for the Purdue Research Foundation (PRF).

Work From Purdue is being directed by PRF and administered by MakeMyMove, a quickly growing Indianapolis-based community marketing platform cofounded by Evan Hock and Bill Oesterle. Oesterle, a Purdue alum, former member of Purdue’s Board of Trustees and cofounder of Angie’s List, has experience building live/work sectors. When Angie’s List changed locations, he purchased the area and has recruited a number of tech-forward businesses to take root in what is now an Indianapolis tech-pocket, Elevator Hill.

Since May 2021, 28 people have already moved to West Lafayette as part of a pilot and case study designed to test MakeMyMove’s success in a college community. MakeMyMove will manage applications, recruitment and candidate reviews. 

“Building off of our successful pilot last year, we are thrilled to scale the program and offer more remote workers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the legendary Boilermaker community,” says Evan Hock, co-founder of MakeMyMove. “Emerging as a leader in remote worker recruitment, this affordable, Midwest tech hub is a must-see for builders of all types."

Purdue has a history of demonstrated performance that spans beyond educating and engaging its students.  In 2020, Lafayette was ranked first as the top college town to start a business and, in 2018, Forbes ranked Lafayette second in its list of "Best Small Places for Business and Careers.” Wall Street Journal named Purdue third in the nation for companies founded using university-sponsored research, behind only Stanford and MIT. Purdue Foundry reports an average of 43 startups launched per year between 2014 and 2021, and the PRF Office of Technology Commercialization reports an average of 165 patents issued and 121 licenses signed annually since 2011. Residents seeking the resources and know-how to generate their own innovation will find themselves in the right place.

“This program welcomes participants from day one with all of the advantages and experiences that Purdue is known for: top notch facilities for learning, researching, dining and exercising; Big Ten athletics; high-quality, low-cost living; a pervading spirit of innovation and a welcoming Boilermaker community powered by some of the smartest students, faculty and researchers in the world,” says Ethan Braden, executive vice president and chief marketing and communications officer for Purdue University and Purdue University Global.

Challenging the expectations of what a college should be and do, Purdue was the only university and the only organization in the state of Indiana named a “Brand That Matters” by Fast Company magazine for its authenticity in pursuing cultural and business impact.

boiler-bhangra Competitive dance team, Boiler Bhangra, gives an outdoor performance at Purdue University. Performances, farmers’ markets and demonstrations and are just some of the events that someone may see while walking around campus. (Photo, Purdue University Marketing and Communications) Download image

Beyond resources and lectures to energize a professional career, remote workers may be drawn to a Midwest college town’s competitive cost of living (26% cheaper than Chicago and 55% cheaper than San Francisco) or the 2021 sixth best U.S. housing market as ranked by the Wall Street Journal and Realtor.com.

With the earned dollar going farther, remote workers have more freedom to enjoy their community. In Greater Lafayette, that means access to Prophetstown State Park, local breweries, downtown festivals, farmers markets or visiting the world-famous Triple XXX Family Restaurant. And with easy access to both Indianapolis and Chicago, Greater Lafayette is at the center of both campus and regional events. 

Remote workers interested in this program should contact MakeMyMove at https://cities.makemymove.com/purdue

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a top public research institution developing practical solutions to today’s toughest challenges. Ranked in each of the last four years as one of the 10 Most Innovative universities in the United States by U.S. News & World Report, Purdue delivers world-changing research and out-of-this-world discovery. Committed to hands-on and online, real-world learning, Purdue offers a transformative education to all. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue has frozen tuition and most fees at 2012-13 levels, enabling more students than ever to graduate debt-free. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap at https://stories.purdue.edu.

About Purdue Research Foundation

Purdue Research Foundation supports Purdue University's land-grant mission by helping the university improve the world through its technologies and graduates. Established in 1930, PRF is a private, nonprofit foundation. The foundation helps patent and commercialize Purdue technologies; builds places to encourage innovation, invention, investment, commercialization and entrepreneurship; and makes equity available to students to finance their Purdue education. In 2020, the IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The foundation received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

About MakeMyMove

MakeMyMove is the nation's first and only marketplace that matches remote workers and their families to communities across the country offering relocation incentives. MakeMyMove was founded by Bill Oesterle, co-founder of Angie’s List.

Writer and Media contact: Christy McCarter, mccarter@purdue.edu

Sources: Ethan Braden, bradenr@purdue.edu

David Broecker, dabroecker@prf.org

Evan Hock, evan@makemymove.com

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