Rural Sourcing

In an effort to counter the rural brain drain some rural communities are fighting back against overseas outsourcing.

NPR recently reported on a joint project of Southern Arkansas University and Rural Sourcing Inc.

Project proponents hope that the current backlash against overseas outsourcing will make rural sourcing an attractive alternative for companies looking to cut operating costs. Rural Sourcing Inc., who helps high-tech firms find rural partners, touts cost savings of 30-50% over domestic competitors. These savings are less than those possible with overseas outsourcing. Nonetheless some companies are choosing rural sourcing for both political and practical reasons.

This sounds promising as long as cost savings are the result of the lower costs of living in rural areas. As soon as the savings become the result of the exploitation of rural communities the practice will be only marginally better than overseas outsourcing.

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