The Rural Online Initiative (ROI) has the goal of “preparing Utah’s rural workforce for the future of work by providing education, training and other services to prepare individuals to work remotely” (source: remoteworkcertificate.com/about). Utah State University Extension’s ROI program, released the Master Remote Work Professional (MRWP) certificate course in October of 2018. This course targeted rural Utah residents that wanted to transition from on-site work into a virtual remote work career by equipping them with the tools and skills needed.
Since the course began in the fall of 2018, 10 out of the 15 participating counties in Utah showed a decline in unemployment, 754 participants graduated from the MRWP course and 117 graduates found remote
work since completing the course. Of the 117 graduates that found remote working reported their income increased by 21%. Roughly 70% of all the participants are women and around 7% are minorities. Most of the students are under 35 but the program has had students as young as sophomores in high school and a number of retired individuals.
Seeing room for improvement between when participants graduated from the MRWP course and finding remote work, the ROI program has developed a new course to aid graduates finding remote jobs. The new program, Remote Job Search: Skills for Success, is designed to supplement the MRWP certificate course. The new course’s goal is to help jobseekers get hired as remote workers. Participants will be able to walk away with the ability to:
- Identify safe and credible remote work opportunities
- Demonstrate remote work qualification to virtual employers
- Identify a target employer profile
- Utilize sources of relevant remote work
- Complete an online application
- Complete a virtual interview
The Utah Coal Country Strike Team launched Silicon Slopes East at the beginning of March 2020 with a three-fold vision including 1) promoting what tech looks like in Carbon and Emery counties (Coal Country), encouraging remote working in the two county region and bolstering the entrepreneurial spirit in Coal Country. Silicon Slopes East has partnered with the ROI’s newly created program to offer scholarships to residents who live in Coal Country. Once the Remote Job Search: Skills for Success course is
published, participants will be able to enroll online and based off of zip codes, a scholarship may be applied to your account.
Silicon Slopes East is proud to partner with the Rural Online Initiative in providing opportunities like this course for the residents of Coal Country. In addition to the ROI scholarships, the Utah Coal Country Strike Team will be offering scholarships to Carbon and Emery county students enrolled at Utah State University Eastern as well as other non-credential training programs.
For more information about Silicon Slopes East, please visit siliconslopeseast.com or facebook.com/siliconslopeseast. Interested persons can also contact Jade Powell (435-613-0022) for more information.