PHOTO FILE – Teleworking
The United States Economic Development Administration (EDA) recently announced a $ 1.1 million CARES Act Restoration Assistance Grant to the Utah State University Extension for develop the online distance initiative (ROI). The grant will provide specialized training to help position businesses for economic recovery and prepare workers for success in remote environments. The grant, which will be matched with $ 264,182 from local funds, is expected to create more than 450 jobs and generate $ 40,500 in private investment.
“President Biden is committed to harnessing the full power of the federal government to ensure that our nation not only recovers from this pandemic, but rebuilds itself better,” said US Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo. “This EDA investment in Utah State University will provide training to business leaders across the state in developing effective remote work environments that will help them create and maintain jobs.”
Utah Governor Spencer Cox said last year that remote working has become an increasingly important part of Utah’s workforce.
âWe have proven that it works and we are delighted that Utah State University is receiving these funds to continue to support the Return on Investment program, which is a great tool for those new to remote working or looking to improve their efficiency. while working remotely, âhe said.
Ken White, vice president of USU Extension, said the ROI agenda has been especially important in the rapidly changing economy of 2020.
“In 2020, our remote work certification courses led to the creation of 167 new remote employment internships in rural counties, equivalent to the economic impact of more than 6,154 jobs in urban counties.” , White said. âIt’s amazing how many individuals and families the ROI program has helped since it was funded by the Utah Legislature in 2018. We are extremely grateful to the EDA for providing this new grant. , and we know it will benefit a lot more people. “
Paul Hill, professor at USU Extension and director of the ROI program, explained how the EDA investment will support businesses in urban Utah counties in their efforts to adopt remote working as a modern practice in the workplace. post-pandemic work.
âOur research found that most of the US organizations that implemented remote working in response to the pandemic viewed the experience as favorable,â Hill said. âWe know from theory that a positive experience with a trial innovation increases the likelihood of adoption in the future. Ultimately, remote working has reached a tipping point during COVID-19 and is here to stay. This means that businesses are evolving from being designed for the collective to being personalized for each individual. This specialized training program will coach Wasatch Front business leaders in effectively developing remote work plans for their organizations so they can thrive in the future of work.
The project was made possible through regional planning efforts led by the Economic Development District of Mountainland and the Economic Development District of Wasatch Front, funded by the EDA. The organizations bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investments and create jobs.