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Rural Bridges : 

Rural Bridges

WSU Rural Bridges Background: 

WSU Rural Bridges Background Our Mission: To create vibrant rural communities by making it possible for people to live, work & play wherever they choose through the use of information technology. Our Work: Assisting rural community leaders build their capacity to prepare for, create & attract information technology-enabled jobs.

Convergence of Driving Forces: 

Convergence of Driving Forces Information economy Decline of traditional rural industries Rural broadband availability People increasingly choosing to live rural Global competition forcing cost cutting innovation Need for business continuity

Rural Jobs Enabled by ICT: 

Rural Jobs Enabled by ICT Help desk & customer service Language translation/interpretation services Medical transcription & medical coding Website development/maintenance Financial services Back office operations Writing/editing Research/evaluation Software development Insurance claims processing Project management

ICT Jobs Creation Options: 

ICT Jobs Creation Options Outsourcing Telework Branch Offices Business Relocation Business Start-up Business Growth Lone Eagles

In the News: 

In the News “California company plans wind farm in Oregon” “Microsoft & Yahoo build data storage centers in Quincy” “Urban flight continues as Americans flee big cities"  “150 cheap places to live: Yes, you can live in a rural community & make a good living” “Outsourced within: Rural Washington opens to the world”

NCTeleserve Outsource : 

NCTeleserve Outsource Customer & technical support Winthrop, WA, established 2000 25 employees Customers IBM Ambassador Group Centiricity Altrec HomeMovie.Com Affinity: CEO fell in love with the Methow Valley & started his business there

RFTrax Telework: 

RFTrax Telework RFID - Sensors monitor & track products Offices in Allyn, WA, Half Moon Bay, CA, & Sugarland, TX Established 2003 Allyn VP manages 30 engineers Customers Burlington Northern Motorola Exxon Mobile Affinity: VP wanted to live on the water

Language Line Services Telework: 

Language Line Services Telework Language translation & interpretation Established 1982 Serves customers worldwide Highly qualified staff telework from all over the country Affinity: She & her husband wanted a more rural lifestyle – He’s the town pharmacist & she teleworks from their home.

Washington Dental Service Branch Office: 

Washington Dental Service Branch Office Dental claims processing Colville, WA office established 2002 90 employees & growing $1 million savings in 3 years Exploring telework Affinity: WDS had a long-term relationship with WSU & key leaders grew up in Eastern Washington

HomeMovie.Com Business Relocation: 

HomeMovie.Com Business Relocation Video preservation to DVD Winthrop, WA Moved from Everett, WA, 2003 20 employees – plans for 100 within 2 years Affinity: CEO moved to his favorite vacation spot, the Methow Valley

Inspired University Entrepreneurial Start-up: 

Inspired University Entrepreneurial Start-up On-line training Oroville, WA, established 2003 9 employees Nationwide instructors & students Introducing B-Visual: a new web-video product Affinity: CEO moved to Okanogan County where he visited grandparents as a child

Mobilsa Entrepreneurial Start-up: 

Mobilsa Entrepreneurial Start-up Builds wireless systems for government Headquarters Port Townsend, WA, established 2001 Sales office in Alexandria, VA 32 employees & growing Affinity: CEO returned to the Olympic Peninsula where he grew up

Bear Creek Lumber Business Growth: 

Bear Creek Lumber Business Growth Specialty lumber Winthrop, WA, established 1997 14 employees Family owned & operated Embraced ICT to expand customer base throughout the world Affinity: Family grew their business without relocating to a large port city

TextPRO Writing Services Lone Eagle: 

TextPRO Writing Services Lone Eagle Business writing services Sekiu, WA, established 2000 Clients Local newspapers to large East Coast companies Helped develop rural case studies Affinity: TextPRO could be anywhere but the owner wanted to live & work in Sekiu

Lessons Learned : 

Lessons Learned Success stories abound Affinity really matters Multiple options for ICT job creation Short-term & long-term workforce opportunities General outreach & promotion to urban employers did not create jobs ICT job creation takes time

Steps to Get Started: 

Steps to Get Started Support current businesses Establish a team to grow ICT jobs Develop a job creation strategy Evaluate current workforce skills Identify local businesses with ICT jobs Document other assets (facilities, telecom, etc.) Target those with an affinity for your community Be ready to respond when a business or entrepreneur expresses interest

WSU Rural Bridges Resources: 

WSU Rural Bridges Resources WSU Rural Case Studies Outsourcing & Growth Jobs in Washington: A report for businesses & rural communities interested in information-based job growth opportunities Community Resource Guide

WSU Rural Bridges Services: 

WSU Rural Bridges Services Community leadership briefings on ICT job opportunities Workshops on community assessment, affinity marketing, hosting an employer site visit, & entrepreneur support strategies Customized assistance for communities & business For More Information Dee Christensen, 360-584-3025 Monica Babine, 425-827-8015

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