Rural Online Initiative Program Provides Alternatives

Pete CodellaNews

The Rural Online Initiative (ROI) program, housed at Utah State University, educates, coaches and mentors Utah’s rural workforce. The program assists Utah residents who are currently unemployed, underemployed or have dropped out of the workforce to obtain freelance jobs, remote employment or online commerce opportunities. 

USU’s Rural Online Initiative team is hard at work in communities throughout Utah. Here are some of their success stories: 

Local Mom Used Website Design Skills to Help Local Cities and Business

A recent graduate of the ROI program from Emery County used skills she learned in the certification program, along with a skill scholarship for supplemental software training, to grow and expand her website design business.

She has a contract with Price City working on its website, and also works with local businesses to expand their web presence. Her enhanced skills have benefited her family and the local economy, connecting rural businesses with new clients.

Newspaper Writer Begins a New Story

A resident of southeastern Utah was a successful manager of a local newspaper until the paper was bought and she was left unemployed. With the skills learned from the Master Remote Work Professional Certification course, she was able to begin a new career as a freelance writer. She now has contracts with multiple clients and loves her new career.

ROI Training Leads to Full-Time Work

One rural resident, specializing in accounting, utilized his new skills obtained in the Remote Work Professional Certification course and later found a full-time job. After completing the ROI program, he found a job at a local power plant. His training in communication, teamwork and project management helped him in the application and interview process, and now he can provide for his family and remain in his community.

From an ROI Participant in Duchesne County

“This program gives me a lot of hope. Before learning about the ROI program, I had decided my only option was to leave the county and move to Salt Lake, but now I see new possibilities I had not considered before.”