WSU’s New Partnership to Prepare Washingtonians for Remote Work
Marisa Lloyd

WSU’s New Partnership to Prepare Washingtonians for Remote Work


PULLMAN – A new program aimed at equipping rural residents with the skills they need to compete for remote work in the post-pandemic economy is being offered this fall in Washington state.

The Remote Work Professional Certificate course is a one-month, 30-hour, completely online professional certificate program that helps prepare participants to be an effective remote worker, whether as an employee, entrepreneur, or freelancer. 

Developed by Utah State University Extension, this course has been made available to Washington residents through an affiliate agreement with Washington State University Extension, and with support from the Washington Rural Initiative, a partnership between Washington State University Extension and the AWB Institute with support from Avista and STCU. 

The registration fee for the course is $299. Scholarships are available for those in the Avista service area, and who are currently unemployed or underemployed.

“If an individual has the skills, and the certificate to demonstrate they have those skills, they can be competitive in the digital employment marketplace,“ said Mike Gaffney, assistant director of WSU Extension. “They don’t have to leave the place they choose to live to find a job, and the benefits of that job come back to their community. This project provides the key to a door that individuals in rural communities might not otherwise be able to walk through.”

Students will learn how to improve time management, gain familiarity with a variety of online communication and project management tools, create a digital work portfolio, start a career development plan, and work to develop many other skills. The course also covers how to execute a successful job search.

At the end of the four weeks, participants will receive a certificate of completion of the Remote Work Professional course jointly issued by WSU and USU.  That certificate can be included in a work portfolio or resume. In addition, those who complete the course will join a growing community of individuals that share ideas, support one another, share job postings, and engage in professional development activities related to remote work. 

A pilot project was recently completed in Chelan County and is now being expanded to additional counties throughout Washington, including Ferry, Stevens, Pend Oreille, Okanogan, Grant, and Adams.

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