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Tulsa Retools Itself for the Remote Work Revolution

Tulsa Retools Itself for the Remote Work Revolution

Tulsa Retools Itself for the Remote Work Revolution

Tulsa Retools Itself for the Remote Work Revolution

Excerpt from governing.com

Tulsa has long relied on oil and gas to fuel its economy. It’s created a tech and entertainment ecosystem that turned out to be a perfect fit for the era of remote work.

For most of her adult life, Megan Thomas felt trapped in Los Angeles. She moved to L.A. from a small town for college, then stayed for marriage and graduate school and her career as a consultant. What had long been aggravating — raising children in a tiny but unaffordable house with no yard — became unbearable during the pandemic. “I had always been trying to get out of L.A.,” she says. “When COVID hit, my husband and I were like, ‘We have to get out of here.’”

Thomas did what thousands of people have done over the past couple of years: She moved to Tulsa. She runs a nonprofit called InTulsa that acts as matchmaker between companies looking for talent and individuals looking for jobs. “We helped place a local woman,” Thomas says, “and since then she’s referred four other family members, and we have gotten them all jobs within Tulsa.”

For years, there was an informal saying in Tulsa — if you’re achieving, you’re leaving. Like other places blessed with oil, Tulsa didn’t feel the need to invest in much else. The city lost population in years when the oil economy struggled and over the long term was a net exporter of residents of prime working age. That’s turned around lately, with the city working hard to resuscitate its long-dormant entrepreneurial spirit.

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