A business incubator called ‘The Hub’ in Ohio County has a second training program at no cost to residents. Ten people are enrolled in the ‘virtual assistant’ training.
The main goal of ‘The Hub’ is to create jobs, especially high-tech remote jobs, that offer Ohio County residents a chance to continue to live in this rural community and have a 21st Century career with a good income.
Chase Vincent is Executive Director of the Ohio County Economic Development Alliance. He says the 10 residents who are currently enrolled in the ‘virtual assistant’ program are getting training that will prepare them to manage a distant office, for instance a medical practice, from home or from co-working space in ‘The Hub.”
“There are eight women and two men and the age range runs the spectrum. We have young people in their 20s and we have people in their 50s that are late in their career and looking at this possibly as a retirement option or just another career change,” said Vincent.
The economic development alliance is covering the $700 cost of training for each person, as part of a required match on a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant to renovate The Hub building in the town of Hartford.
Vincent anticipates that some of the ‘virtual assistant’ graduates may decide to rent some of the co-working space in ‘The Hub’ and join those who have already located in the facility.
“We have one person that does tech support that works out of The Hub full-time," said Vincent. "We have another person that is a clinical social worker that sees clients from an office in The Hub one or two days a week.”
The first training offered was a 10-month long computer coding boot camp for eight county residents. The $12,000 cost of that training, for each person, was covered by a USDA Rural Development grant of $99,000.