New Agreement Encouraging Remote Working from Rural Utah

Published: September 03, 2019 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Rural SummitOn day one of the 32nd annual Utah Rural Summit hosted by Southern Utah University, government and business leaders signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that encourages remote working from home, which is a growing trend across the country. The MOU could be especially beneficial to Utahns who prefer to live in rural areas of the state where employment is more limited than in the more populated areas of the state.

“This new memorandum of understanding helps remove geographic barriers for Utahns who prefer to live in our rural areas but have been forced to go where the job takes them,” said Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, who’s attending the two-day conference. “Innovative thinking like this is a big step in ensuring our rural residents have the same opportunity to participate in a surging economy.” 

The memorandum is a joint agreement between the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Salt Lake Chamber, and Economic Development Corporation of Utah. The MOU encourages companies to identify remote employment opportunities and to fill those jobs with workers in rural communities. This agreement helps meet Governor Gary Herbert’s goal to create 25,000 jobs in rural Utah communities.

“The agreement is a clear sign of the commitment to increase economic opportunities for rural Utah and it comes from three of Utah’s most well-respected leaders,” said Stephen Lisonbee, executive director of Utah’s Center for Rural Life. “This is the type of partnerships that rural Utah should really participate in because it has the potential to make a difference in every rural community.  It’s exciting to see this unfolding at our annual summit in front of rural Utah’s leadership.”

In addition to signing the cooperative agreement, the summit included presentations by governmental and business leaders from across Utah. Tuesday’s topics included the “Power of Partnership – How a Community Wins,” the impact of economic incentives in attracting new jobs, and how innovation can help rural communities overcome economic disadvantages.

The annual Utah Rural Summit concludes Wednesday, September 4 with an economic innovation discussion featuring Gov. Herbert and the State Bank of Southern Utah SpeedPitch competition intended to help identify and support high-potential early-stage businesses and business ideas. Governor Herbert will also be a judge in the competition. Other Wednesday speakers include Southern Utah University President Scott L Wyatt and Rich Christiansen, chair of the SUU Board of Trustees.

The Utah Rural Summit was founded in 1987 and gives state and community leaders an annual opportunity to develop solutions to increase economic viability in rural Utah.

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