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Report: Rural America’s tech employment landscape

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The Center on Rural Innovation conducted a year-long research on the state of tech employment in rural communities. The study involved two national surveys, a labor market data analysis, and more than 50 interviews with tech employers, training providers, workers, and learners. The report reveals that rural employers in non-tech industries employ a significant portion of rural residents, yet they could be employing more because they are understaffing people in tech roles. Rural residents express a high level of interest in tech jobs and careers, and rural learners and employers benefit from having access to a combination of different training methods and programs to develop tech skills that meet industry needs. However, the two largest barriers to tech training for rural learners are cost and time commitment, and lowering these barriers helps to grow and diversify the talent pool. The report provides recommendations to policymakers, funders, training providers, and leaders at the local and national levels on how to address the supply of and demand for tech talent in rural communities.