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Ongoing Funding For Utah's ROI Program

Women codiing, Rural Online Initiative training program funding helps Utahns in remote areas gain skills to work from home.
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While most of Utah's economy is flourishing, Rep. Val Potter said rural parts of the state need help to catch up.

At a time when general fund money is stretched thin, House Representative Val Potter said ongoing funding will be used to continue to grow the Rural Online Initiative program

“The urban side of Utah is important, the Wasatch Front — but, the Wasatch Front is doing well," Potter said. "The economy is booming, housing is off the charts, they're doing well — people have jobs. People in rural Utah do not have the same benefits.”

According to Potter, lawmakers need to focus heavily on rural issues because that’s where the state’s residents are in need of more support.

“Rural Utah needs a stronger economy. Rural Utah needs focus," he said. "It needs help, and I think the legislature needs to do more and we are doing more.”

One thing Potter said lawmakers are working on is the expansion of the online job training initiative for rural Utah, which aims to provide more opportunities for people in remote locations to work online from home.

“It's working, people are getting jobs, people are making money. We got ongoing funding committed right now, to continue that program and to grow it and to expand it from, I think we're going from 11 to 15 counties," Potter said. "So it's growing, it's gonna do more, there's more funding coming, and we’re hoping to expand that Rural Online Initiative to get more opportunities for people in rural Utah.” 

According to a report by the Salt Lake Tribune, the one-month-long program — conducted  with Utah State University’s Extension Office — has been completed by 754 individuals, and 73% of them were women — since it was introduced in 2018.