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Preparing Rural Americans for the Postpandemic Economy: Lessons from Utah

Utah State University works to provide the state’s rural workforce and businesses with education, training, and services for opportunities in remote employment, freelance work, and e-commerce through the Rural Online Initiative. Created in 2018, the program was a “legislative response to increasing unemployment, intergenerational poverty, and net migration of young populations to urban centers.” Success stories on the program’s website highlight participants’ achievement of developing the skills and conduct needed for online work with the flexibility of remaining in their community and managing other responsibilities.

Remote Work: A New Opportunity for Economic Prosperity in Rural America

Our program director, Dr. Paul Hill, authored the cover story of the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Rural Connections Magazine, published by the Western Rural Development Center. In this article, he describes how recent technological changes have created growing opportunities for people to work remotely. He then explains how remote work benefits both families and society. This is especially true in rural communities as it is increasingly less necessary for people to live near where their employment is located. This means that more and more people are in a position to live where they choose since many may choose to live in a rural community.

Student of the Month

I started working at Big Brothers, Big Sisters during the pandemic when much of our staff was already working remotely. Throughout the pandemic our staff learned how to be flexible working from home. However, when the office opened up and staff started returning to work, it became clear that we needed to set some guidelines for staff who choose to work remotely.

Our Executive Director suggested that staff who desired to continue working from home would need to complete the Certified Remote Work Professional course through Utah State University. Because of this course, I will be able to work a hybrid schedule where I will have the ability to work in the office as well as at home.

Thank you!

Addie Martinez

Open remote positions

Fall/Winter Content Development Intern - NPR

This internship will spend the first half of the program with the The Limits team learning the ins and outs of producing a podcast and then spend the second half of the program with the content development team learning how new podcast ideas come to life! 

Client and Operations Reporting Manager - CVS

Join a company that Fortune magazine ranked as one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies.” As a Client and Operations Reporting Manager, you will lead a business focused technical team that supports information delivery for clients and operations.

Remote work is a solution to rising gas prices

Commuting has presented a financial headache amid soaring gas prices for many employees and working-from-home can be a solution.


Tweet of the week

The Great Resistance: employees are refusing to return to the office. Two steps to address this:

  1. Calculate how many in-person days the team needs - say two days per week
  2. Set team anchor days to achieve this - say Tuesday, and Thursday - and encourage #wfh on other days


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Utah State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution and is committed to a learning and working environment free from discrimination. For USU’s non-discrimination notice, see