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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/27/2005 1:01:31 PM EDT
abcnews.go.com/WNT/story?id=1068581&page=1

Small-Town USA May Offer Solution to Outsourcing
Company Redeploys Workers to Rural Towns Instead of Sending Jobs Overseas

Aug. 25, 2005 - The rural town of Sebeka, population 710, is not exactly Silicon Valley. It's hardly the place computer programmer Dave La Reau expected to find employment.

La Reau, who had been job hunting for years, answered a help wanted ad from CrossUSA -- one of a half dozen companies actively recruiting workers to small towns in at least eight states.

He traded his suburban home for a 7-acre farm at a fraction of the price. But La Reau is making half of what he earned in Chicago -- before outsourcing put his small company out of business.

"I'm hooked up to the computer in Baltimore," La Reau said while working. "I've got the same screen they have."

Sebeka is 14 miles from the closest traffic light, hours from the nearest Starbucks coffee shop and a far cry from the Chicago suburb he left.

"There is no traffic," said technical consultant Clayton Seal, who also works in Sebeka. "Anytime, day or night, you can cross Main Street -- almost don't have to look 'cause there's nobody there."

Seal also lost his job to outsourcing.

Farm Country Competing With Foreign Countries

The workers are part of a growing backlash against the thousands of white-collar jobs sent offshore to places such as India.

High-speed computer lines now make it possible for farm country to compete with foreign countries. "We speak the language and we understand the business issues," said Nick Debronsky, chief executive officer of CrossUSA.

Debronsky's work force of 25 both in Sebeka and North Dakota maintains computer mainframes around the country. He expects to hire another 75 workers by December.

Debronsky said the town's isolation will help guarantee workers will stick around.

"There's no other work within two, three hundred miles," Debronsky said with a smile.

Analysts predict there will be more companies moving their high-tech operations to rural areas, as they reconsider the costs and the risks of doing business overseas.

"We may be seeing the renaissance of small-town America," said former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, "because if they are wired up, they can actually generate a lot of new jobs."

That is exactly what Carrie Ann Milbradt is hoping. The CrossUSA programmer is also Sebeka's mayor.

"This is a start, and I think Sebeka will grow with it. We might get a traffic light," she said.

Lattes may not be far behind.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 1:04:11 PM EDT
Actually, I am awaiting an offer from a company that is doing that very thing. Their main offices are in San Francisco and near Washington, DC and they are putting applications development in the suburbs of Pittsburgh because of the lower wage structure there. They did outsource at one time but were dissatisfied with the quality of work coming from overseas.

I'd rather work for a company who has already been burned by offshoring rather than those who have yet to learn their lesson.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 1:21:50 PM EDT
Although the article never mentions it, Sebeka is in Minnesota.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 1:35:47 PM EDT
Sebeaka is about 2.5 hours south of me. It is a very Small Town Where everybody knows you, It Does have a stop light, And it is not that far from the Twin Cities.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 1:50:54 PM EDT
Good news. Just bring all those jobs to west-central Illinois, we could use them. Oh, and the nicest brand-new 3500 sqare foot palaces in my town top out at 300-325 thousand. You couldn't buy a garage in California for that much.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 1:53:48 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Skibane:
Although the article never mentions it, Sebeka is in Minnesota.



thank you. not sure how the article could have failed to mention that

My company uses a data entry farm in Idaho or Iowa, or something like that.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 9:23:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Airwolf:
He traded his suburban home for a 7-acre farm at a fraction of the price. But La Reau is making half of what he earned in Chicago -- before outsourcing put his small company out of business.

"I'm hooked up to the computer in Baltimore," La Reau said while working. "I've got the same screen they have."

Hmmmm, citizens of the Great Satan America are adapting to compete against global competition? There will be more of this because foreign tech support are idiots who don't understand that you already went through basic troubleshooting and you need someone with LevelX skills.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 9:30:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By KlubMarcus:

Originally Posted By Airwolf:
He traded his suburban home for a 7-acre farm at a fraction of the price. But La Reau is making half of what he earned in Chicago -- before outsourcing put his small company out of business.

"I'm hooked up to the computer in Baltimore," La Reau said while working. "I've got the same screen they have."

Hmmmm, citizens of the Great Satan America are adapting to compete against global competition? There will be more of this because foreign tech support are idiots who don't understand that you already went through basic troubleshooting and you need someone with LevelX skills.



[deep Indian accent] " Hello My name is Steve, how may I be of most honorable assistance to you?"
"blah blah blah"
[Steve] (flips through pages) "Is your computer plugged in to the outlet?"................
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 9:32:31 PM EDT
Um, the jobs most of us are worried about going overseas are the manufacturing jobs...

When your country goes from one that exports finished goods to one that imports them, you're getting in a bad position.
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 9:51:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stove_Pipe:
[deep Indian accent] " Hello My name is Steve, how may I be of most honorable assistance to you?"
"blah blah blah"
[Steve] (flips through pages) "Is your computer plugged in to the outlet?" ...............

That guy answered your call, too?!?!
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 9:59:17 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/27/2005 10:00:18 PM EDT by WildBoar]
Link Posted: 8/27/2005 10:05:16 PM EDT
What happens when small town becomes big town?
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