To help rural communities and economies from suffering from the outmigration of residents in search of better opportunities, University of Idaho is finding solutions beyond physical borders.
University of Idaho Extension’s Digital Economy Program (DEP) has partnered with Utah State University Extension to help Idahoans access more career options with a remote work certification.
“Idaho’s rural residents sometimes feel excluded from the job prospects available in large cities,” the DEP stated in a release. “This can result in a steady bleed-out of skills and funds, as people move to large cities and other states in search of opportunity. However, the growing global digital economy has the potential to reverse this trend. From freelance work to entrepreneurship and everything in between, endless possibilities are now available.”
A “Remote Work Certificate” course is now being offered through the DEP to help people learn digital skills and advance their careers, doing so from their own homes.
According to the release, the course can be completed online in one month and costs $50 for many Idaho residents.
The DEP stated that a link exists between rural economic stability and job availability. “According to the Idaho Department of Transportation, more than 64,000 people moved to Idaho in 2021, but … more than 57,000 people also moved out of Idaho,” the release stated. “Losing residents can erode the unique identity and culture of small towns and tribal communities.”
Having the ability to work from home, the DEP stated, allows people to obtain a better work-life balance and to stay or return to their communities.
“Remote work erases the physical boundaries that once compelled residents to seek opportunities elsewhere,” the release stated. “Idahoans who work remotely can help preserve the local heritage, participate in community events, support local small businesses, and foster a sense of community pride.”
More information on the course can be found at www.uidaho.edu/digital-economy.