Rural Broadband and the Next Generation of American Jobs
Saturday, February 01, 2020
Technology is shaping the next generation of American jobs. Manufacturing, agriculture and health care are among the sectors that demand more highly skilled employees than in the past. The need for increased training and education is imperative for many rural areas that face demographic and economic challenges.
Although some rural areas have enjoyed population increases in the past several years, many rural areas are challenged by static or decreasing population. Likewise, some rural areas have exhibited reassuring recovery from the Great Recession, but others continue to face the lingering impacts of economic struggle. These changes come at a time when many jobs demand increased skills.
In rural areas, broadband helps provide these necessary skills. Broadband can support secondary and postsecondary education and training, and broadband-enabled services can overcome instances in which small or insular areas lack sufficient economies of scale to support interest in advanced or specialized courses. This can improve local economic stability because data indicate that higher wages correlate to education.