Broadband Offers Economic Growth and Workforce Development Opportunities for Remote Areas and Job Deserts
WRC President, Gerard Hayes, Ph.D. and WRC VP, Connected Communities, Matthew Bauer attended the SOAR Summit 2022 in Pikeville, Kentucky, October 19-20th. In addition, Bauer presented WRC's DigitalBridge initiative and economic opportunities for remote work and workforce development in Eastern Kentucky.
"Removing location from work unlocks digital economy opportunities for more people from more places and more backgrounds." —Matthew Bauer, WRC VP, Connected Communities
Bauer reviewed the rapid evolution of technology, change in the workplace—from farming to factories to offices—and the impact of the COVID pandemic on the future of the workplace, with an ever increasing number of jobs becoming remote.
"25% of all jobs in North America are projected to be remote by the end of 2022." —LinkedIn
In addition, Bauer highlighted America's acute need for middle-skill employees and the new remote work career opportunities middle-skills jobs represent, especially for people in remote areas, like Appalachia. Bauer also reviewed WRC's DigitalBridge initiative, along with other programs including Kentucky's TeleWorks USA.
“High-speed, reliable internet service is not just the infrastructure of the future, it is the infrastructure of the present. It is just as important right now as roads and bridges. And today is a key part of our plan to build a better Kentucky, as high-speed internet will be critical to the success of our state’s economy and to future job creation.” —Gov. Andy Beshear
The well attended event, hosted by Colby Hall, SOAR Executive Director and Kimberly S. McCann, SOAR Executive Board Chair, featured elected officials including Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers, as well as nonprofit, business and community leaders from Eastern Kentucky.
SOAR is a regional nonpartisan nonprofit that champions local projects, programs, and advocacy for the 54 ARC-mandated counties in Eastern Kentucky. Learn more about SOAR and their amazing work at soar-ky.org.
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