Companies such as GE that outsourced information technology (IT) jobs to places like India and the Philippines are recognizing it can be better for them to reshore these jobs to the United States (Daily Beast). Surprisingly, some of the largest beneficiaries of this trend are small towns and rural areas.
But it’s only surprising at first glance, considering that many IT jobs can be done literally anywhere. With the right workforce, rural areas – with their low cost of doing businesses and high standard of living – are equally suited to attract these jobs as are big cities.
To attract talent, IT contractor Rural Sourcing emulates cool, trendy office spaces à la Google HQs, locating offices in repurposed warehouses and historic buildings. The company recruits young workers by hosting “hackathons” at universities, the winners of which are offered internships.
This model is also seeing success in Macon, Mo., pop. 5,500, where Onshore Outsourcing is winning contracts from companies like Panera Bread, Boeing, and Enterprise Rent-A-Car (Columbia Business Times). The company ensures a qualified local workforce by paying for its employees’ education, and providing child care during classes. A truly local success story, its founder got started with a revolving loan from the city.
Looking ahead, it stands to reason that locations with high-speed Internet will be better positioned to capitalize on this trend.