Women are often disadvantaged in the job market for not being able to work long or inflexible hours. This is because women are commonly responsible for “a greater share of caregiving and home responsibilities,” according to Erin Jemison, public policy director at YWCA Utah. Every mom knows the importance of staying flexible especially when it comes to tending to a child that is at home with the flu, going to orthodontist appointments, chauffeuring to sports games or piano lessons, or even caring for a parent. The tricky part is knowing how to navigate all these things with a job, and let's face it, most jobs have rigid schedules and limited time off.
What happens when you are also in rural Utah and jobs are scarce? Utah’s economy is thriving but many of the state’s rural communities are not sharing in the prosperity. Unemployment rates and intergenerational poverty in many of the rural counties are much higher than state averages (some are even double).
Our legislative representatives and Utah State University Extension responded to these issues with a new pilot program to help people in the rural counties develop the skills needed to compete for remote work. The program is called the Rural Online Initiative (ROI) and provides people in rural Utah with education, training, and services for online opportunities in remote employment, freelance work, and e-commerce.
The ROI program offers a one-month course called the Master Remote Work Professional Certificate which, “prepares people to prosper in the new economy,” says Paul Hill, USU Extension Associate Professor and ROI Strategist in Washington County. There are remote jobs in almost any industry including teaching, accounting, medical coding, design, engineering, customer service, writing, editing, administrative, etc. This a game changer for women (and men); people no longer must be limited to the jobs within their own communities or the traditional 9 to 5 hours. Essentially remote work can offer flexibility, opportunity, and equality.
For information and details about the Remote Work Certificate course and program, visit https://remoteworkcertificate.com/.
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