Published by Pilot-Tribune & Enterprise on May 30, 2019
The job market is rapidly changing, thanks to new and emerging technologies. As a result, job training has become highly specialized, even at the high school level.
While young people living in urban and suburban communities often benefit from on-site access to the specialized education that they will need for future career success, those living in rural areas must sometimes rely on distance education to get the same training, as smaller rural schools can’t always realistically offer a wide range of specialized coursework.
With this in mind, a recent report from NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, highlights the need for high-speed Internet access in every community nationwide to meet the demands of tomorrow’s job market.
With two job categories poised for demand, middle-skill and STEM jobs, experts say that reliable rural broadband access will help ensure that there are enough trained workers available to fill the next generation of American jobs, while also helping to expand job opportunities for a greater number of young people.
Rural broadband providers continue to play a vital role. By leveraging their networks and working closely with local educational institutions, they are providing fiber connectivity and broadband to schools in harder-to-reach locations. As a result of these initiatives, a greater number of communities and schools can offer specialized coursework, career guidance and more to their students, helping to build local career opportunities and strengthen local economies.
Those who have directly benefitted from rural broadband echo this sentiment.
“High-speed internet service in my rural area allowed me to participate more fully in high school and gave me the chance to explore more opportunities after graduation. I am so grateful for the access it provided me, I am now actually working at a broadband company myself and plan to study business management and marketing at school,” says Devin Bryant, a young adult living and working in Abbeville, S.C. “Good service allows me to stay in my rural area near family and friends and still pursue the job opportunities I want.”
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