Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Saint Marys, Elk County And Williamsport To Host Remote Workers For 2024 Wilds Are Working initiative; April 19 Deadline For Interested Workers To Apply

On February 28,
PA Wilds Center For Entrepreneurship announced Saint Marys in Elk County and Williamsport, Lycoming County will be the 2024 hosts for The Wilds Are Working Remote Lifestyle Experience Initiative.

The Center will be taking applications from remote workers interested in participating from March 6 to April 19.  Click Here to apply.

Participants can come from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a sense of adventure and the ability to work remotely. 

Click Here to watch a video on the program.

Now in its third year, the Program seeks to help address the issue of outmigration in rural areas by marketing PA Wilds communities as great places to live and work.

The initiative allows remote workers to live, work, volunteer, and explore all that the rural region has to offer. 

The program was originally piloted in summer 2022 in the PA Wilds communities of Bellefonte and Kane and then in the communities of Emporium and Warren in 2023.

Saint Marys

Saint Marys, the seat of Elk County, will host remote workers in August. 

The community offers a mix of city amenities while still being close to nature. 

With a population just over 12,000 residents, Saint Marys is the second-largest city by geographical area in Pennsylvania, but due to the large space is actually one of the least densely populated cities in the state. 

Beer aficionados will fall in love with Saint Marys, the home of the historic Straub Brewery. 

With six parks and a community pool, families always have something to do. 

In addition, Saint Marys is not far from the Elk Country Visitor Center, the epicenter of the largest wild elk herd in the northeastern United States. 

The month of August offers opportunities for participating in weekly events, outside dining, parks, trout streams, leisurely drives, and scenic views.


Williamsport, the seat of Lycoming County, will host remote workers in July. 

It is the largest city in the PA Wilds region, with a population of nearly 28,000. 

Perhaps best known as being the birthplace of Little League baseball, the Williamsport area also has a rich heritage tied to the lumber industry and is home to two institutions of higher education (Pennsylvania College of Technology and Lycoming College), the Crosscutters minor league baseball team and more than a dozen local breweries. 

The West Branch Susquehanna River runs through Williamsport, offering beautiful views along the riverwalk and ample water recreation, and the renowned Pine Creek Rail Trail and PA Grand Canyon is just down the road. 

During the month of July, Williamsport hosts multiple community events, art festivals, and theater productions that participants will be able to enjoy.

“The first two years of The Wilds Are Working really showcased the diversity of what our region has to offer, especially to remote workers who value outdoor recreation and a sense of community,” said Abbi Peters, Chief Operations Officer at the PA Wilds Center. 

“The past host communities were able to draw from the experience, learning how they can better support newcomers and find a reinvigorated appreciation for all that their towns have to offer to both new and longtime residents. 

"Tech and innovation workers have the opportunity to explore the PA Wilds and find a community with a great quality of life, and the region’s communities can use this as a way of looking inward to better position themselves for modern workers and travelers. 

“We’re excited to see the unique experiences that Williamsport and Saint Marys will bring to the 2024 program,” said Peters.

Program Details

Lodging accommodations are covered for remote workers during the experience. 

In addition, the workers receive a living stipend which can only be spent at local businesses as a way to inject more dollars locally into the region throughout the initiative. 

The stipends are provided in the form of a digital gift card (Shop the PA Wilds gift card), only redeemable at participating businesses within the Wilds region.

Five participants will be accepted for each community, and they will be notified in May.

Visit the The Wilds Are Working Remote Lifestyle Experience Initiative webpage to apply and for all the details.

Funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission through Ben Franklin Technology Partners, the program was designed and is administered by the PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc., a nonprofit whose mission is to integrate conservation and economic development in a way that strengthens and inspires communities of the Pennsylvania Wilds.

The Pennsylvania Wilds is a 13-county region that includes the counties of Cameron, Clarion, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Forest, Jefferson, Lycoming, McKean, Potter, Tioga, Warren, and northern Centre. 

Click Here to plan your visit to the Pennsylvania Wilds.

[Posted: February 28, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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