BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — More than 26,000 applications were filed for an incentive program offering $10,000 to out-of-state remote workers to move to Northwest Arkansas.

According to a press release from the Northwest Arkansas Council on Monday, the Life Works Here program drew more than 26,000 applications from people in more than 115 countries and all 50 states.

The first 25 recipients of the $10,000 incentive have been selected, according to the Northwest Arkansas Council. They include:

  • An executive chef and James Beard Foundation Impact Fellow from Atlanta
  • A digital marketing manager from Denver
  • A music producer and creative community curator from Los Angeles
  • A gaming producer from Los Angeles
  • And a cloud technology manager from San Francisco

The incentive program, launched in November 2020, was “made possible by philanthropic support from the Walton Family Foundation at the recommendation of Steuart Walton and Tom Walton to attract top talent to the region,” according to Monday’s release.

In addition to the $10,000, recipients also had the choice between a street or mountain bicycle or an annual membership to one of the region’s “world-class arts and cultural institutions.”

“We’re overwhelmed by the unbelievable response and interest and look forward to announcing additional recipients as new talent is selected,” said Nelson Peacock, president and CEO of the Northwest Arkansas Council.