The technology talent in rural America is like the branches that support a treehouse.
However, these branches are mature people representing a “hidden” platform used for work, recreation and observation.
They have been coding since the early days of MS-DOS and IBM System/32-36.
The area I am focused on in this article are rural, computer savvy youth who want to “learn to code”.
I appreciate people who write code and all of them are not “hackers”.
The fact is, the world is all about numbers, so we need more “numbers” people in rural areas to learn computer technology.
Recently, there has been a surge of interest in learning to code, focusing especially on career opportunities.
It is easy to understand why.
The number of jobs for programmers and computer scientists is growing rapidly.
As a matter of fact, demand is far outpacing supply.
But, I see much deeper and broader reasons for learning to code.
In the process of learning to code, people learn many other things.
They are not just learning to code, they are coding to learn.
In addition to learning mathematical and computational ideas (such as variables and conditionals), they are also learning:
These skills are useful not just for computer programmers and developers, but for everyone, regardless of age, interests or occupation.
One day, you may decide to build websites, turn a Fiverr side project into a full-time income, etc., and it is empowering.
There are various grants that rural areas can get to expand infrastructure and workforce.
In that case, rural governments must work with experienced programmers and developers to help get these financial incentives.
At the rate foreign countries are training women and youth in technology, rural America has a long way to catch up.
Most remote areas still do not have Internet access!
If rural America is serious about finding ways to grow its economy, it must invest in and promote technology education.
As I look around my stagnant rural town, I truly believe technology is WHAT WE NEED!
The fact is, in order to bridge the technology experience gap, plans need to be developed to provide technology jobs.
Being that I am the Publisher of RuralMoney.com, I have a vested interest to seek ways to encourage new ideas to support farming and other growth.
Building another Walmart store is not growth so let’s talk about what is.
Let’s build a treehouse of learning to code, to bring rural America into the 21st century.
The USDA says, “Rural America is back in business”, but I respectfully disagree.
We need to do more than build houses.
Rural America need commercial businesses, high-speed Internet access, and the latest fiber optic infrastructure.
With USDA grants and loans and affordable online training from Treehouse, rural America can be back in business.
Also, what non-profit incentives are rural governments pursuing from AT&T, Microsoft, and Google Fiber Optics?
Surely there is something they can do to help provide Internet access for low-income teenagers and students.
Living in a remote area cut many people off from the rest of America.
And, we cannot afford to wait another 5-10 years before something is done about it.
Rural Americans should flood President Elect Trumps’ office with letters.
And of course, his “new” Secretary Of Agriculture about the progress of the White House Rural Council.
The Council coordinate the Administration’s efforts in rural America by performing three core functions such as:
⦁ Streamline and improve the effectiveness of Federal programs serving rural America
⦁ Engage stakeholders on issues and solutions in rural communities
⦁ Promote and coordinate private-sector partnerships
Technology in addition to farming and commercial businesses must be at the top of their agenda.
In the meantime, Treehouse is a great resource trying to help bridge the technology education gap to a new rural workforce.
Treehouse has been around since 2011 quietly teaching people how to code and they’re seeing great results.
Their mission is “to bring affordable technology education to people everywhere, in order to help them achieve their dreams and change the world.”
For a limited time, Treehouse is offering full access to all courses for free!
At our present economic and technology state, I will settle for their help to change rural America.