We are only a couple months away from launching OCEDA’s business incubator/remote work space! Located at 300 Peach Alley, the former Glenmary Home Missioners house is undergoing a renovation to become a state-of-the-art business incubator for entrepreneurs and a training facility for remote work careers. Remote jobs are the jobs of today and tomorrow, and have the potential to drastically transform rural economic development. In a 2013 report by Govloop, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 40% of the American workforce will be freelancers, temps, independent contractors and ‘solopreneurs’ by the year 2020. This project will provide the training, coaching, and facilities necessary to create jobs and foster entrepreneurship within Ohio County. It is particularly valuable for citizens who may not currently be part of our workforce, such as stay at home mothers, people with disabilities, displaced workers, or those with a criminal history.
While initial skills training to become a remote service provider is important, another vital component is job placement. There are many work from home scams to which graduates could be susceptible. The job placement services provided will begin by developing relationships with reputable remote employers who will give preference to graduates of the training program. This will allow graduates to obtain employment more quickly and with less hassle than trying to sift through all of the possible scams littering the Internet. OCEDA will then help remote service providers retain and advance their careers through coaching and further training.
Initially, training at the facility will begin with virtual assistant services such as answering phones, managing appointments, booking trips, etc. As successful graduates enter the online workforce, there will be a corresponding demand for them to learn new skills to increase their earnings. Once this occurs, we will offer specialized training for specific high-demand areas of virtual services such as bookkeeping, project management, social media management, and website design, to name a few. This specialized training, along with continued one-on-one coaching, will allow graduates to continue growing and earning in their careers as virtual assistants.
Offering training and job placement for these types of opportunities to Ohio County and the surrounding areas will allow citizens to re-enter the workforce and find higher paying jobs that may not be available locally. As an added bonus, most of the positions will be paid by non-local companies, bringing outside funds to our community.
In addition to helping to maintain and develop our local workforce, the incubator portion of this project will provide entrepreneurs of our community with the tools they need to work remotely, including: phone, Internet, computer equipment, a quiet workspace, and advice and collaboration from staff and other professionals using the space. This business model and facility are also ideal for professionals that would prefer to live in a rural community but have otherwise moved elsewhere due to job availability. Technical jobs such with large companies such as Google or Apple once required you to move to a large metropolitan area, but today’s technology allows people with a specialized skill-set to perform these jobs remotely and earn a salary comparable to that of a metropolitan area while enjoying the lower cost of living of our rural community.
OCEDA anticipates opening the space to the public in April for training and for lease. If you would like to sign up or learn more, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.