Building tech economies across rural America
Through our work with communities across the country, we have learned that it is essential to work on multiple fronts at the same time: If you train workers to code, but they can’t find local or remote coding jobs, these newly-skilled workers will leave the area. And if you help people find remote work or start tech-based businesses but you don’t have spaces for these tech workers to connect and cross-pollinate, they may leave or lose momentum.
Our comprehensive approach
Right now, 12% of America’s workforce lives in rural America but only 5% of the nation’s tech employment is in rural areas. By 2030, we want rural America to have 12% of the nation’s tech jobs, distributed to match the gender and race demographics of each region. We will achieve this through a comprehensive range of expertise, programs, and partnerships that ensure all Americans, regardless of geography, are able to participate in our 21st-century tech economy.
Through our Rural Innovation Initiative, our team of in-house community managers and data experts works with cohorts of rural communities to create place-based tech economic strategies. This intensive technical assistance program has helped our communities raise more than $36 million in federal funding and matching dollars. Many of these communities go on to join our Rural Innovation Network after completing the Initiative. Read more.
Our Rural Innovation Network is a growing community of small-town economic development leaders from across the country who are committed to building thriving tech economies in their hometowns. We connect our members with other rural leaders and advocates working on similar development initiatives, while partnering closely with them to develop strategies, assess opportunities, and execute on new ideas. Read more.
We collaborate with our Rural Innovation Network community members to create new programs and initiatives to serve their local workforce. We partner with job seekers that could benefit from tech job training programs, local employers of tech talent, rural post-secondary education and training providers, national tech skilling partners, and remote tech employers to design and develop new initiatives that support tech employment in rural areas. Read more.