Rural & Remote

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By Kade Wilcox

Rural & Remote helps connect people in rural communities to remote jobs as a way to stay home or come home. To see how we do this, you can check out our process here. But when you boil down our mission, that is why we exist. We want to help people maximize all available opportunities in order to find work they love while living where they love.

No one should have to leave to achieve. For too long, people have believed that they have to leave their rural community to be successful. Certainly, there are circumstances in which it is best for people to leave their rural community in order to accomplish their goals. If this is the case for you, then no problem. But the idea that the “only” way to be successful, do the work you love or make the money that you want to make requires you to leave is an absurdity. It is this common narrative that we are excited to work at changing. Growing up in a small town myself (population 350), not a single person throughout my life invited me to consider coming home after I graduated college. They didn’t mean it personally; it is just how small towns are. People often believe the only way to be successful or accomplish your goals is to leave.I have met many people who have moved back to their small town only to be greeted by people who are shocked they came home. The question they get all the time is, ”Why did you come back to _______?” Again, I don’t think they mean it personally, but there is something in the small town mentality that believes the only way to succeed is to leave and that if you return, something must be wrong.

One of our priorities through Rural & Remote is to work at slowly changing this mentality. The time we are in now is one of the greatest opportunities we have ever had in rural communities since perhaps the pioneer days when land was free and opportunities were boundless. We want to invite youth to come home if that is what they want to do. We want them to explore all the different pathways that would allow them to stay home or come home if they want to live in their hometown. We want to celebrate this idea and not make it feel like “second rate” if you decide to come home.

We started Rural & Remote so that we could try to make a positive impact on rural communities throughout the Great Plains region. We had no idea the opportunities that would present themselves when we first started. We certainly saw a need for the program, but didn’t realize the vastness of the need until we launched the program and started working with individuals and trying to help them accomplish their goals. We have learned a lot over the last two years, but one of the most exciting things we have learned is how many opportunities there are for people who want to change their lives and stay home or come home.

We are just getting started! We have a long way to go, but the sky’s the limit and opportunities are boundless. Rural & Remote is excited to play our part and help as many people as we possibly can.

Kade Wilcox, Executive Director of Rural & Remote.